Minister Marci Ien announces funding for an Ontario organization to address systemic barriers to employment for Muslim Women  

News release

March 21, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

Despite progress in recent decades, gender equality in Canada remains a pressing issue as significant disparities and systemic barriers persist in areas such as the economy, workforce, politics, health, and education. These same barriers are even more pronounced for equity-seeking communities.

Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth announced $768,000 for the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) for their “Addressing Barriers to Employment for Muslim Women” project.

This 35-month project will address barriers by focusing on increasing women’s recruitment, retention, and advancement in non-traditional and/or growing economic sectors. CCMW will apply Gender- Based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) to the most recent census data to address gender gaps in labour-market recovery, as well as other factors of discrimination that affect Muslim women’s economic participation in Canada. 

Investing in women’s economic participation means their families and their communities can prosper. The Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with organizations and experts in the women’s movement to facilitate women's economic participation while further promoting intersectional strategies to advance gender equality. 


“Simply put, discrimination against Muslim women is unacceptable. The Canadian Council of Muslim Women plays a pivotal role in bringing about systemic change, and the funding announced today will help them enhance resources and expertise to create educational materials and tools for employers to adequately address Islamophobia and racism in the workplace.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is honoured to receive a multi-year grant from WAGE to better understand employment barriers that Canadian Muslim women face, and to develop key strategies and tools to address these barriers; to inform employment-related policies and practices, thereby improving employment access and equity. We look forward to working with key partners and stakeholders in the employment sector as well as diverse Canadian Muslim women to make this happen,”

Nuzhat Jafri, Executive Director of Canadian Council of Muslim Women  

Quick facts

  • Since 2010, WAGE has provided a total of $2,363,992 in funding to CCMW.  

  • The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) was founded in 1982 when Muslim women across Canada attended the founding conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Led by the late founder of CCMW, Dr. Lila Fahlman, these women sought to mobilize their passion for social justice and faith to enrich their communities and work towards the common good of Canadian society.  

  • Since 2015, funding to support women’s and equity-seeking organizations has increased five-fold. More than 645 organizations across Canada have received over $320 million in funding to improve women’s economic security and prosperity, address gender-based violence, advance women in leadership and support those who need it most.

  • CCMW organized national roundtables on a National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence and was one of the feminist organizations that called for a National Action Plan to end GBV. 

  • Budget 2022 committed $539.3 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, “to support provinces and territories in their efforts to implement the forthcoming National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence” and we look forward to working together.    

Associated links


Johise Namwira
Press Secretary and Issues Manager
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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