Government of Canada announces funding to address gender-based violence and advance gender equality

News release

August 6, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

Everyone has the right to live free from violence. Unacceptably, too many people in Canada continue to experience violence every day because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. This issue has only been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic in communities across the country. That’s why the Government of Canada is collaborating with partners to address and prevent gender-based violence in all its forms.

From the start of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has taken swift measures to support front-line organizations providing essential supports and services to women and their families experiencing gender-based violence through COVID-19 emergency funding.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development announced agreements that will see almost $200 million over two years flow to shelters, sexual assault centres and organizations supporting women and children experiencing violence. This will ensure these critical front-line organizations can continue to provide life-saving services and supports to those who need it most. To swiftly deliver these much-needed funds across the country, Women and Gender Equality Canada will work with Women’s Shelters Canada, Canadian Women’s Foundation and with the Government of Québec.

To accelerate progress towards a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence as was committed to in Budget 2021, the Minister announced $27.3 million to support 72 projects to address gender-based violence across Canada. In addition, she announced up to $2 million for a two-year project that will address and prevent gender-based violence in post-secondary institutions, to be delivered through Possibility Seeds.

To further strengthen this work, Budget 2021 committed $14 million for a dedicated secretariat and $11 million for gender-based violence research. The establishment of the Secretariat will allow for the provision of strong evidence, knowledge mobilization, enhanced coordination and collaboration within and across jurisdictions, strengthened engagement with stakeholders and shared accountability approaches. The community-based research will be undertaken collaboratively with community organizations representing those most at risk of gender-based violence, including Black and racialized women, Indigenous women, women with disabilities and LGBTQ2 women.

Stemming from the January 2021 Joint Declaration for a Canada Free of Gender-Based Violence, Minister Monsef announced continued collaboration with provinces and territories through up to $2.8 million for eight joint projects to address gender-based violence in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon.

To support the Government of Canada’s commitment to the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan, a call for proposals will be announced later this month to bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming.

In addition, Minister Monsef is pleased to announce that up to $6.2 million will be provided to the Assembly of First Nations to empower First Nations women and increase their leadership and democratic participation. Funding will also be provided to Pauktuutit and Women of the Métis Nation to develop plans to do the same in their respective communities.

Finally, to further support women’s leadership, Minister Monsef also announced approximately $693,000 for the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) to support a series of events over the next two years that will bring together feminist organizations and community leaders. These events will provide a forum for Canada’s women’s movement to come together in all its diversity to strengthen connections and work more closely together to create a fairer, stronger and more equitable Canada.


“Ensuring women, children, Indigenous peoples and underserved populations feel safer in their own communities is a top priority for the Government of Canada. We cannot and will not let the hard-won gains of the women who came before us be rolled back as we begin our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. These investments in projects from across Canada will address systemic issues that at-risk and underserved women face and help ensure an inclusive recovery from the pandemic. Thank you for your advocacy, your dedication, and your work making our communities safer and more equal for everyone.”

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

“The Government of New Brunswick’s Women’s Equality Branch is committed to ensuring personal safety and economic security for all women. To address the realities the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on, we are looking forward to partnering with Women and Gender Equality Canada on two priority items.”

The Honourable Tammy Scott-Wallace, Minister responsible for Women’s Equality

“As Prince Edward Island's Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, I am grateful for the Federal contribution toward valuable gender-based violence prevention work that will be taking place in our province. These partnerships are historic, and are something that provinces and territories have requested throughout many discussions. Working together in such a way is something that I spoke to at our most recent Ministers meeting, and I am very pleased with this collaboration and am proud to have endorsed the FPT Ministerial Joint Declaration for a Canada Free of Gender-Based Violence. I look forward to the future outcomes that will result from working together.”

The Honourable Natalie Jameson, Minister responsible for the Status of Women

“The Government of Yukon is pleased to hear of the funding being awarded to two Yukon initiatives—Sally & Sisters/Soeurs and the Sexualized Assault Response Team. Now more than ever, we recognize the critical importance of customized programs and supports as we work to eliminate gender-based violence.”.

The Honourable Jeanie McLean, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate

“Gender-based violence occurs in all communities and it’s for this reason, we’ve committed to develop an action plan to end gender-based violence. And in doing so, work closely with our federal partners just as we are today. We have a lot of work ahead of us – good work that will make a difference in many people’s lives. We also know that inaction is not an option and we can’t do it alone.”

Grace Lore, MLA, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, British Columbia

Quick facts

  • As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) received $90 million to fund over 1,200 organizations across Canada, including women’s shelters, Indigenous off-reserve shelters, sexual assault centres, women’s organizations and other organizations providing supports and services to those experiencing gender-based violence to ensure continuity of services during this challenging time. Since April 2020, more than 1.1 million women and children have a place to turn because of this funding.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has supported a total of over 400 projects working to address and prevent gender-based violence with over $149 million in funding.
  • Budget 2021 committed $601.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to advance towards the development of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. This includes $415 million that will be provided to WAGE:

    • $200 million over 2 years to support gender-based violence organizations
    • $105 million over 5 years to enhance Gender-Based Violence programs, for initiatives to engage men & boys; stop human trafficking, support at-risk populations and survivors, and provide support for testing and implementing best-practices
    • $14 million over 5 years for a dedicated secretariat to coordinate ongoing work towards the development & implementation of the Gender-Based Violence National Action Plan
    • $11 million over 5 years for gender-based violence research and knowledge mobilization
    • $55 million over 5 years to bolster the capacity of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to provide gender-based violence prevention programming aimed at addressing the root causes of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+people
    • $30 million over 5 years so crisis hotlines can serve the urgent needs of more Canadians to prevent the escalation of gender-based violence. 

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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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