Government of Canada to host Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery Summit to mark International Women’s Day

News release

February 24, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced. It has highlighted fundamental gaps in our society and disproportionately impacted those who were already marginalized, vulnerable or struggling. Women have faced steep job losses or shouldered the burden of unpaid care work at home, and many have bravely served on the front lines of this crisis in our communities.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced the Government of Canada will host a two-day summit, “Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery”, on March 8 and 9, 2021, to mark International Women’s Day (IWD). Minister Monsef also announced #FeministRecovery will be Canada’s theme for IWD 2021.

The Summit will bring together experts, and community leaders with lived experience to examine how the COVID-19 crisis impacts the lives of women in Canada. Discussions will centre on the key issues facing women of all ages across the country, including women with disabilities and those from Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ2, and immigrant and newcomer communities.

Through presentations and interactive sessions, participants will reflect on the the steps that governments, civil society and all Canadians can take to ensure an inclusive response to and recovery from the pandemic that leaves no one behind. Participants will also:

  • Learn more about how the pandemic and related public health measures are affecting women.
  • Discuss the role of child care, good jobs and other initiatives in Canada’s recovery to ensure it is inclusive of everyone.
  • Explore ways to advance gender equality and grow the economy over the long term.
  • Hear and share perspectives on women-owned businesses, women’s and equality-seeking sectors and communities that will look to feminist approaches to economic growth.

Visit the Summit website to learn more about the two-day program, register, or contact the organizers. Registration is free, and open until Thursday, March 4, 2021.


“There can be no recovery from the pandemic if we do not address systemic challenges and inequalities facing women, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Governments, businesses, community leaders, and Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast must all be part of this critical work. On March 8 and 9, we will bring together experts, decision-makers, those with lived experience and Canadians from across the country to spark this important conversation, that must continue in every corner of the country as we continue to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.”


The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • In June 2020, Canada was recognized by CARE as having the most gender-responsive plan to address COVID-19

  • The Government of Canada is creating an Action Plan for Women in the Economy to help more women get back into the workforce and to ensure a feminist, intersectional response to the pandemic and recovery. A task force of experts will guide this Plan to ensure that diverse voices power a whole of government approach.

  • The Government of Canada is helping women entrepreneurs through the pandemic by providing up to $15 million in additional funding through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). 

  • Between 2015 and 2019, the Government of Canada increased funding to women’s and gender equality seeking organizations from under $20 million per year to over $65 million per year. This year, Women and Gender Equality Canada will make over $100 million available to support their work.

  • The Government of Canada has provided $100 million in emergency COVID-19 funding to organizations serving women and children experiencing gender-based violence and made existing funding programs more flexible. To date, this assistance has been provided to over 1,500 organizations across the country, supporting over 800,000 people.

Associated links


Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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