Addressing gender-based violence through sexual health education
Building healthy life skills through education, prevention, and support for women and children are key to improving gender equality in Canada and addressing the root causes of gender-based violence. By increasing access to knowledge and information, all Canadians are empowered to identify violent and harmful practices, and act on them.
Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced over $8M for 21 projects to improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls, with a focus on eliminating gender-based violence. Further to the Government of Canada’s commitment to eliminate gender-based violence, these projects will increase sexual health education, promote gender equality, and address harmful gender norms while taking into account intersectional lived experiences.
Minister Ien met with two organizations who are advancing gender equality through their community‑based projects.
- The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada discussed their project to ensure that sexual health education programs are more effective in addressing persistent harmful gender norms and attitudes among youth, and reducing the occurrence of gender-based violence. The organization received over $696,000 in funding.
- The Regroupement Naissances Respectées discussed their work to support the perinatal community and strengthen their organizational capacity and partnerships to support gender equality. The organization received over $450,000 in funding.
“Community organizations, advocates, survivors, and allies are the heart of systemic change. I know there are dedicated people behind each of these projects and I want to reaffirm that the Government of Canada supports their important work. I’m committed to continuing our work with organizations as they take action and invite others to do the same. By addressing the root causes of gender-based violence, we advance gender equality and empower women and girls to reach their full potential.”
The Honourable Marci Ien, P.C., M.P., Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“The Sex Information & Education Council of Canada is pleased to launch Preventing Gender-Based Violence: Developing and Implementing Effective Sexual Health Education Policy and Practice. This project is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery Fund. The overarching objective of the project is to modify policies and practices. By doing so, it will more effectively integrate gender-based violence prevention within sexual health education programming in schools and community settings in Canada.”
Jessica Wood, Research Specialist, Sex Information & Education Council of Canada
“Thanks to the funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada, Regroupement Naissances Respectées is able to hire consultants and project managers to strengthen its capacity to integrate a feminist intersectional approach to all aspects of the organization. Through the project 'Pour un mouvement féministe en périnatalité renforcé et intersectionnel', the Regroupement wishes to create thinking and discussion spaces to allow for a better understanding of the ways oppression systems interact and amplify inequalities during the perinatal period. This project touches on all other projects managed by the Regroupement. These are the trainings on obstetric and gynaecological violence it will hold in 2022, the events and conferences it will organize throughout the year, as well as its associative life.”
Lorraine Fontaine, Director General, Regroupement Naissances Respectées
Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed $3 billion over five years to increase efforts to end gender-based violence. This included $601.3 million over five years toward a national action plan to end gender-based violence.
Sexual health and rights are critical for saving lives and reducing ill-health among women, men, girls, and boys. They contribute to fulfilling their internationally recognized right to the highest attainable standard of health.
In Canada, 30% of women, 8% of men, and 59% of transgender and gender-diverse people have been sexually assaulted at some point since age 15. That’s more than 11 million Canadians.
Generally, victims won’t report gender-based violence cases to the police because they feel they will be shamed by their families, friends, or the offender. One in five victims of sexual assault–both women and men–felt blamed for their own victimization.
Notes for media
Media can contact the office of the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, to schedule an interview or requests more information.
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada
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