Minister transition binder two

Departmental mandate - Tab 1


The Office of the Coordinator for the Status of Women, was initially established in the Privy Council Office in response to a recommendation contained in the report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in 1970. The Office of the Coordinator for the Status of Women, became a departmental agency of the federal government on April 1, 1976.

Since 1976, Status of Women Canada (SWC) has worked to promote equality for women and their full participation in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada, and worked to address violence against women and girls.

In December 2018, new legislation created Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), transforming the former SWC into an official department of the Government of Canada and broadened the scope beyond women and girls. The legislation modernized and formalized, in law, the roles of the Minister and the Department. Under this new legislation, the Minister’s powers, duties and functions include:

  • the advancement of equality, including social, economic and political equality, with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression; and,
  • the promotion of a greater understanding of the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors that include race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition, place of residence and disability. 

In line with the legislation, the mandate of the Department is to “advance equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders, including women, in Canada’s economic, social, and political life. This application of a gender and diversity lens will help us to understand better the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors. These factors include – but are not limited to – race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition, place of residence and disability”.

Current status

This new mandate provides an opportunity for the department to serve as the Government of Canada’s centre of excellence on issues related to women and gender equality. WAGE will continue to provide advice and knowledge, develop and implement policies, provide grants and contributions, deliver programs, invest in research, and provide advice to achieve equality for people of all genders, including women.

LGBTQ2 - Tab 2

The term LGBTQ2 refers to persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or two-spirited. Although there are slightly different versions of the acronym, this term is widely understood in Canada and around the world.

Over the past several decades, Canada has made significant progress in recognizing the rights of LGBTQ2 persons, with initial gains related to sexual orientation and more recently on gender identity. These gains include a 1996 amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) to include sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination; a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruling that same-sex couples should have the same benefits and obligations as opposite-sex common-law couples; the passing in 2000 of the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act that gives same-sex couples the same social and tax benefits as heterosexual common-law couples; and the 2017 amendment to the CHRA to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination, as well as the Criminal Code, adding gender identity and gender expression to provisions dealing with hate propaganda, incitement to genocide, and aggravating factors in sentencing. In 2017, the government delivered a formal apology in the House of Commons to LGBTQ2 Canadians harmed by federal legislation, policies and practices, including the historical unjust treatment of LGBTQ2 public servants. The Government also put into place an expungement process to permanently destroy the records of unjust convictions of individuals for now-lawful sexual activity between same-sex partners.

Despite the important gains in rights and legal protections, more work still needs to be done. Many LGBTQ2 persons continue to face stigma, discrimination, intolerance, and violence. As a result, socio-economic and health outcomes remain problematic. A 2017 study using pan-Canadian survey data of transgender youth found that 75% of transgenderFootnote 1 youth ages 14-18 years reported self-harming in the past year, compared to less than 20% of their cisgenderFootnote 2 counterparts. The same survey found that transgender youth ages 19-25 years had almost 8 times the risk of attempting suicide in the past year than their cisgender counterparts. In 2015-16, the Canadian Community Health Survey found that bisexual Canadians report three times higher rates of food insecurity compared to heterosexual Canadians. However more research and data is required to more fully understand the experiences of LGBTQ2 individuals in Canada, including related to discrimination in employment settings, barriers experiences by LGBTQ2 persons seeking secure employment, and poverty among LGBTQ2 people in Canada. Furthermore, LGBTQ2 communities across Canada have and continue to be deeply affected by homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, along with other intersecting forms of discrimination. Despite an active movement that advanced equality for over 50 years, the capacity of and linkages within the LGBTQ2 civil society remain underdeveloped.

In 2017, the LGBTQ2 Secretariat was established within the Privy Council Office to support the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on LGBTQ2; work with LGBTQ2 stakeholders across the country; to support the integration of LGBTQ2 considerations into the everyday work of the Government of Canada; and ensure that issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are taken into account in the development of federal policies, programs and laws.

In December 2018, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) became an official department of the Government of Canada and broadened the scope beyond women and girls to include advancement of equality, including social, economic and political equality, with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

In 2019, the government committed to $20 million over two years to support capacity building and community-level work of Canadian LGBTQ2 organizations. WAGE, in close collaboration with the Secretariat, is responsible for the implementation and delivery of this program.

Gender-based Analysis Plus - Tab 3


Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is an analytical tool used to assess how diverse groups of women, men, trans and non-binary people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ recognizes that analysis needs to go beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences to include other identity factors, such as race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition, place of residency and disability. As a centre for excellence for GBA+, the Department plays the following role:

  • Increases awareness and understanding of, and commitment to, GBA+ as key lever for gender equality, diversity and inclusion;
  • Provides guidance, develops tools and training, and creates and strengthens existing infrastructure to enhance capacity and improve expertise for GBA+ across federal departments and agencies and in other gender and inclusion mainstreaming initiatives;
  • Strengthens an evidence-based approach by increasing capacity for GBA+ and related tools/techniques, including gender budgeting, to assess differential impacts applying GBA+ to identify issues and inform priorities;
  • Brokers relationships, and creates channels and forums between a broad range of actors to capture new knowledge, including finding and disseminating good practices; and,
  • Acts as a hub for GBA+ knowledge and expertise and create spaces and opportunities to harness new ideas to develop solutions and enable innovation.

Foundational GBA+ training is available in both official languages to government officials and the general public through the Department’s online course, Introduction to GBA+, on the Department’s website. Additional training is available through Canada School of Public Service’s GBA+ Premium course (an intensive in-person learning program) and with the Centre for Intercultural Learning of Global Affairs Canada for the development and delivery of tailored GBA+ training.

In November 2018, the Department hosted the first GBA+ Forum with the objective of facilitating an international dialogue on improving the effectiveness and impact of GBA+, and creating a space for sharing best practices, challenges and successes. More than 1,000 in-person and online participants from all levels of government, and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, academics, leaders from the private sector and international stakeholders, took part in this event. Input received during the Forum provided valuable insights into how the Government of Canada can continue to advance gender equality and inclusion, in collaboration with governmental and civil society partners and stakeholders.

Current status

GBA+ is recognized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other international bodies as a world-class methodological instrument and an important mechanism to support gender equality objectives and is positively-impacting the Government of Canada’s programs, policies and services.

Federal departments and agencies are currently required to integrate GBA+ into all Memoranda to Cabinet, Treasury Board Submissions and budget proposals. Further, GBA+ is now included in key legislation, including, the Impact Assessment Act, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Accessible Canada Act.

Various governance structures have been put in place to support departments and agencies and ensure they remain accountable for their GBA+ requirements. This includes a GBA+ Champions Network, an Interdepartmental Committee on GBA+, and Federal-Provincial-Territorial GBA+ Task Teams. Further, capacity to undertake robust GBA+ continues to grow and the availability of disaggregated data allowing for quality analysis is increasingly available.

GBA+ – Concrete impacts on policies, programs and services

GBA+ and Airport Security

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) applied GBA+ to the Primary Inspection Kiosks, which were created to improve border services for international travellers at Canada’s busiest airports. Throughout the planning phase, GBA+ was used to inform the design and operation of the kiosk, to ensure that no group would be unfairly disadvantaged by the technology. GBA+ was used to develop a mitigation strategy, where travellers with match scores below a requirement are subject to visual inspection.

GBA+ and concussion research

Research has found that sex (gender) and age are key variables in explaining the incidence, symptoms and recovery from traumatic brain injury. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research asks researchers who apply for funding – including that related to concussion research – to indicate if and how sex and gender are integrated into their research design.

GBA+ and climate change

GBA+ has been applied to key initiatives in Canada’s approach to climate change, as research shows that climate change impacts people differently depending on multiple intersecting factors. For example, as part of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, the Government is partnering with Indigenous and coastal communities to develop a world-leading marine safety system that meets Canada’s unique needs. GBA+ is helping to ensure that under-represented groups in Canada’s Arctic, including diverse groups of Indigenous Peoples and women, play an active role in the design and delivery of emergency response and waterways management. In addition, GBA+ has been applied to Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, in recognition that women living in poverty disproportionately experience the impacts of climate change.

Gender based budgeting - Tab 4


Studies by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have demonstrated gender gaps, for example, in labour market participation, entrepreneurship, remuneration, representation in senior management positions in both the public and private sectors, health outcomes, and education. As a means to address these gaps, countries (including Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and others) have started to mainstream gender in their budgetary process. This is known as gender budgeting. 

As a leader on the issue of gender budgeting, the OECD defines gender budgeting as “integrating a clear gender perspective within the overall context of the budgetary process, through the use of special processes and analytical tools, with a view to promoting gender-responsive policies”. This analysis allows the government to promote equality through fiscal policy and allocate resources accordingly. 

Budget 2017 provided the first ever Gender Budget Statement and included information on the impact of current budget measures on diverse populations. Budget 2018 ensured that no budget decision was taken without being informed by GBA+. In addition, in Budget 2018, the Gender Results Framework was introduced as a tool with which federal budget decisions were made and upon which the gender analysis of the annual budget would be based. Budget 2019 moved further by providing Canadians access to the Budget 2019 Gender report, a publication of comprehensive Gender –Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) summaries for each budget measure.

In addition, the Canadian Gender Budget Act came into force in December 2018, and enshrines gender budgeting in the federal government’s budgetary and financial management process. The Act has three key requirements:

  1. Report — new budget measures 

    The Minister of Finance must table, before each House of Parliament, on any of the first 30 days on which that House is sitting after the day on which a budget plan is tabled in Parliament, a report on the impacts in terms of gender and diversity of all new budget measures described in the plan, if an assessment of the impacts is not included in the budget plan or any related documents that the Minister has made public.

  2. Analysis — tax expenditures 

    Once a year, the Minister of Finance must make available to the public analysis of impacts in terms of gender and diversity of the tax expenditures, such as tax exemptions, deductions or credits that the Minister considers appropriate.

  3. Analysis — programs 

    Once a year, the President of the Treasury Board must make available to the public analysis of impacts in terms of gender and diversity of the existing Government of Canada expenditure programs that the President, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, considers appropriate.

The impact of gender budgeting is monitored annually through the Gender Results Framework indicators. Finance Canada will be including an analysis of progress on the indicators in the Gender Equality Statement of future federal budget. Women and Gender Equality Canada works with Finance Canada on the implementation of the Gender Budget Act and the drafting of the Gender Equality Statement as the Government of Canada’s centre of expertise on gender issues.

Since gender budgeting was introduced less than three years ago, its impact has yet to be fully assessed. The development of metrics to measure the impacts of gender budgeting is currently a shared priority of Canada and partner jurisdictions across the OECD.

Early evidence of how GBA+ is applied to budget measures suggests that gender budgeting could help to ensure that budget measures are more responsive to the needs of diverse groups of Canadians. For example, below are two Budget 2019 initiatives in which the budget noted that a “GBA+ responsive approach” resulted in a more inclusive initiative:

  • GBA+ was applied to the proposed extension of paid parental leave for student researchers, from 6 months maximum to 12 months. The GBA+ found that the average age of these researchers coincided with the average age of individuals welcoming a child into their family. The proposed extension would thus provide more flexibility to integrate research training with family responsibilities and increase the participation of women in research careers, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
  • Similarly, GBA+ was applied to a proposed expansion of the Canada Service Corps, which provides service opportunities for youth across the country to develop new skills and leadership experience. The GBA+ identified underrepresented groups (e.g., young men and boys, Indigenous youth), and the expansion included measures to reduce barriers to underrepresented youth, including dedicated funding for service projects focussed on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, targeted outreach to young men and boys, as well as new incentives and program supports.
Women and gender equality Canada programming - Tab 5


Women’s Program

Through the Women’s Program, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) invests in projects across Canada that address systemic barriers to gender equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity; and encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles. The objective of the Women’s Program is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada.

Funded projects are collaborative in nature, involving non-governmental organizations in partnership with public institutions, other levels of government and the private sector to create opportunities for systemic change in communities across Canada to address persistent barriers to equality in a sustainable way. Funding recipients are primarily not-for-profit organizations, from local grassroots organizations to large national organizations. The program accepts applications for funding through calls for proposals (CFPs) for projects to respond to emerging or pressing issues, as well as on an ongoing basis in order to offer customized responses to issues impacting women.

Since 2007, the Women’s Program has had annual Gs&Cs funding of $19M (ongoing). Budget 2019 included an additional $160M over 5 years, starting in 2019-20, to enable further community action to tackle systemic barriers impeding women’s progress, while recognizing the diverse experiences of gender and inequality across the country. 

Capacity-building Fund

Budget 2018 announced $100M over five years, starting in 2018-19, to support women’s organizations to ensure a strong sustainable women’s movement. The objective of the Capacity-building Fund is to increase capacity of organizations to strengthen the women’s movement in Canada and help organizations work collectively to address gender equality issues. Funding is flexible to allow organizations to address their own needs and enhance the unique contribution they can make to strengthen the women’s movement.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund

In response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Interim Report recommendation, WAGE received $10M over two years, starting in 2019-20 to establish the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund. The objective of the Commemoration Fund is to support Indigenous governments and organizations to work with families, survivors and communities to develop and implement commemoration initiatives to honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S individuals.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Program

WAGE’s GBV Program is population-specific and its objective is to supports organizations working in the GBV sector in developing and implementing promising practices to address gaps in supports for Indigenous and other underserved groups of survivors in Canada. WAGE received funding through Budget 2017 ($29M over five years, starting in 2017-18, with $6M ongoing) and Budget 2018 ($25.5M over five years, starting in 2018-19, with $6M ongoing) for the GBV Program. In December 2018, $50M in funding was approved for nearly 60 projects.

Budget 2018 announced $5.5M over 5 years, starting in 2018-19 to work with stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, to develop a framework to prevent and address gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions.

Human Trafficking: Prevention and Continuum of Care Intervention

The new National Strategy led by Public Safety to Combat Human Trafficking was announced on September 4, 2019 and provided WAGE with $10M over four years, starting in 2020-21, and $2M ongoing to:

  • Deliver, and test innovative promising practices in prevention programs for vulnerable populations, including Indigenous women and girls; and,
  • Develop, deliver, and test innovative short-term continuum of care interventions to support survivors while they transition out of situations of human trafficking. 

LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund

Budget 2019 included $20M over two years, starting in 2019-20, to help address the unique needs and persisting disparities among LGBTQ2+ Canadians by investing in capacity building and community-level work of Canadian LGBTQ2+ service organizations.

Gender Results Framework - Tab 6


In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada introduced a Gender Results Framework (GRF) which identifies priority areas of action for advancing gender equality; guides decision-making on policies, programs and other initiatives; and helps to monitor progress towards our goals. The GRF was developed by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), in collaboration with Finance Canada and Global Affairs Canada, to serve as the framework for guiding the federal budget decision-making and analysis process (gender-based budgeting). As such, the GRF also ensures coordinated action on gender equality by the federal government.

The GRF represents the Government of Canada’s goals and strategic objectives with respect to gender equality and how we will measure success under six pillars:

  • education and skills development;
  • economic participation and prosperity;
  • leadership and democratic participation;
  • gender-based violence and access to justice;
  • poverty reduction, health and well-being; and,
  • gender equality around the world. 

Pillars are supported by a set of indicators for monitoring progress towards Canada’s gender equality goals and objectives. In total, the GRF contains 43 indicators, which were selected through consultation with other federal government departments and are based on international and domestic best practices for measuring gender equality. The indicators also align with Canada’s international commitments, specifically the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Indicator Framework.

In Budget 2019, progress on these indicators was published with the federal budget in a Gender Equality Statement. In addition, with Budget 2019, WAGE released a GRF portal to communicate the goals and progress towards them to a wider public audience. This website will be updated annually with each federal budget.

In October 2018, the federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for the status of women endorsed an FPT GRF, comprising a subset of 32 indicators from the federal GRF. This FPT GRF will be used to guide and monitor progress on FPT priorities identified by the Ministers for the Status of Women.

Gender Results Framework placemat - Tab 7
Gender Results Framework Poster
Text version for GRF poster:

This placemat represents the six pillars of the Gender Results Framework, its goals, objectives and indicators.

On the top middle of the placemat the following text is written: “Canada’s economic future depends on people having equal opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of gender. The framework defines the Government of Canada’s gender equality goals and allows us to track how Canada is performing, determine what is needed to advance gender equality and measure progress going forward.” The Gender Results Framework visual identity is located on the top right of the placemat. From left to right, in the middle of the poster are the six pillars in their respective colours as well as their objectives and indicators written down from top to bottom:

“Education and Skills Development” is written in white on a medium blue background with an icon of two pencils crossing each other on the left of the text.


Equal opportunities and diversified paths in education and skills development

Objectives & Indicators

1.1 More diversified educational paths and career choices

1.1.1 Proportion of post secondary qualification holders who are women, by field of study and qualification type

1.1.2 Proportion of post secondary students who are women, by field of study and credential type

1.1.3 High school completion rate

1.2 Reduced gender gaps in reading and numeracy skills among youth, including Indigenous youth

1.2.1 High school reading and mathematics test scores

1.3 Equal lifelong learning opportunities and outcomes for adults

1.3.1 Adults’ literacy and numeracy test scores

“Economic Participation and Prosperity” is written in white on a green background with an icon of a dollar bill on the left of the text.


Equal and full participation in the economy 

Objectives & Indicators

2.1 Increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in underrepresented groups

2.1.1 Labour force participation rate

2.1.2 Employment rate

2.2 Reduced gender wage gap

2.2.1 Gender gap in median hourly wages

2.2.2 Gender gap in average hourly wages

2.2.3 Gender gap in median annual employment income

2.2.4 Gender gap in average annual employment income

2.3 Increased full-time employment of women

2.3.1 Proportion of workers in full-time jobs

2.4 Equal sharing of parenting roles and family responsibilities

2.4.1 Proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work

2.4.2 Number of children in regulated child care spaces and/or early learning programs and/or benefitting from subsidies

2.4.3 Proportion of annual household income spent on child care, by economic family type

2.5 Better gender balance across occupations

2.5.1 Proportion of occupational group who are women

2.6 More women in higher-quality jobs, such as permanent and well-paid jobs

2.6.1 Proportion of persons employed in temporary, involuntary part-time, or low-wage jobs 

“Leadership and Democratic Participation” is written in white on a red background with an icon of three individuals; a man, a woman and a person in a wheelchair with their hands in the air, on the left of the text.


Gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision-making

Objectives & Indicators

3.1 More women in senior management positions, and more diversity in senior leadership positions

3.1.1 Proportion of employees in management positions who are women, by management level

3.2 Increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale

3.2.1 Proportion of businesses majority owned by women, by business size

3.3 More company board seats held by women, and more diversity on company boards

3.3.1 Proportion of board members who are women, by type of board

3.4 Greater representation of women and underrepresented groups in elected office and ministerial positions in national and sub-national governments

3.4.1 Proportion of seats held by women in national Parliament

3.4.2 Proportion of seats held by women in local governments (provincial, territorial, municipal, First Nations Band Councils)

3.4.3 Proportion of ministerial positions held by women in federal-provincial-territorial governments, and Chiefs in First Nations communities who are women

3.5 Increased representation of women and underrepresented groups as administrators of the justice system

3.5.1 Proportion of federally appointed judges (federal and provincial courts) who are women

3.5.2 Proportion of law enforcement, security and intelligence officers who are women, by rank

“Gender-Based Violence and Access to Justice” is written in white on a navy blue background with an icon of a scale on the left of the text.


Eliminating gender-based violence and harassment, and promoting security of the person and access to justice

Objectives & Indicators

4.1 Workplaces are harassment-free

4.1.1 Proportion of employees who self-report being harassed in the workplace

4.2 Fewer women are victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault

4.2.1 Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner

4.2.2 Proportion of population who self reported being sexually assaulted, since age 15

4.3 Fewer victims of childhood maltreatment

4.3.1 Proportion of population who self reported childhood maltreatment (before age 15), by type of maltreatment

4.4 Fewer women killed by an intimate partner

4.4.1 Homicide rate, by relationship to the perpetrator

4.5 Increased police reporting of violent crimes

4.5.1 Proportion of self-reported incidents of violent crime reported to police, past 12 months, by type of crime

4.6 Fewer Indigenous women and girls are victims of violence

4.6.1 Proportion of Indigenous women and girls subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence, by Indigenous identity

4.7 Increased accountability and responsiveness of the Canadian criminal justice system

4.7.1 Proportion of sexual assaults reported to police that are deemed “unfounded”

 “Poverty Reduction, Health and Well-Being” is written in white on an orange background with an icon of a heart with a heartbeat line, on the left of the text.


Reduced poverty and improved health outcomes

Objectives & Indicators

5.1 Fewer vulnerable individuals living in poverty

5.1.1 Prevalence of low income, by economic family type

5.2 Fewer women and children living in food-insecure households

5.2.1 Proportion of individuals living in households that are moderately or severely food-insecure, by economic family type

5.3 Fewer vulnerable individuals lacking stable, safe and permanent housing

5.3.1 Proportion of the population in core housing need, by economic family type

5.4 Child and spousal support orders are enforced

5.4.1 Collection rate, by type of beneficiary

5.5 More years in good health

5.5.1 Leading causes of death

5.5.2 Health-adjusted life expectancy at birth

5.5.3 Proportion of population that participated regularly in sport

5.6 Improved mental health

5.6.1 Proportion of adults who have high psychological well-being

5.7 Improved access to contraception for young people and reduced adolescent birth rate

5.7.1 Proportion of population aged 15 to 49 that did not use contraception among sexually active population not trying to conceive

5.7.2 Adolescent birth rate (aged 15 to 19) per 1,000 women in that age group

“Gender Equality Around the World” is written in white on a turquoise background with an icon of the globe, on the left of the text.


Promoting gender equality to build a more peaceful, inclusive, rules-based and prosperous world

Objectives & Indicators

Feminist international approach to all policies and programs, including diplomacy, trade, security and development:

6.1 Increased and meaningful participation of women in peace and security efforts

6.2 More women in leadership and decision-making roles, and stronger women’s rights organizations

6.3 More women and girls have access to sexual and reproductive health services and their rights are promoted

6.4 More of Canada’s trade agreements include gender-related provisions

6.5 More women have equitable access and control over the resources they need to build their own economic success and the economic success of their communities

6.6 Fewer people are victims of sexual and gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, including in conflict settings and online

6.7 More girls and women access quality education and skills training

At the bottom right of the placemat, the following text is written: “The Gender Results Framework is aligned with the Government of Canada’s policy of GBA+, ensuring that gender is considered in relation to other intersecting identity factors. Wherever possible, and with a view to collecting better data, intersecting identity factions will be considered in the above indicators.

Canada’s strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence - Tab 8


Responding to calls from partners, stakeholders, and Canadians, It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence (the Strategy), a whole-of-government approach was launched in June 2017.

The Strategy is the Government of Canada’s response to gender-based violence (GBV). It builds on current federal initiatives, coordinates existing programs and lays the foundation for greater action on GBV.

The Strategy is based on three pillars:

  • Prevention;
  • Support for survivors and their families; and,
  • Promotion of responsive legal and justice systems.

The Strategy aims to fill gaps in support for diverse populations, which could include: women and girls, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ2 community members, gender non-binary individuals, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors.

The Strategy includes the creation of the GBV Knowledge Centre within Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE). The Knowledge Centre better aligns existing resources across government and support the development and sharing of research and data to enable more coordinated, evidence-based action on GBV.

It's Time is a whole-of-government approach to prevent and address this form of violence, with investments from:

  • Women and Gender Equality Canada;
  • the Public Health Agency of Canada;
  • Public Safety Canada;
  • the Department of National Defence;
  • the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The Strategy also includes initiatives from other departments and agencies whose work, beyond the six funded partners above, is also critical to end GBV across Canada.

The Strategy has received over $200 million in new investments, starting in 2017-18 until 2022-23, and over $40 million per year ongoing, for new and enhanced initiatives within six federal departments and agencies.

WAGE received funding through Budget 2017 ($29M over five years, starting in 2017-18, with $6M ongoing) and Budget 2018 ($25.5M over five years, starting in 2018-19, with $6M ongoing) for the GBV Program. WAGE’s GBV Program is population-specific and its objective is to supports organizations working in the GBV sector in developing and implementing promising practices to address gaps in supports for Indigenous and other underserved groups of survivors in Canada.

To support the development and implementation of the federal strategy, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality established a GBV Advisory Council in 2016, comprised of members from a broad range of sectors and areas of expertise, to serve as a forum to exchange views, promising practices, and research on issues related to GBV.

WAGE released the 2018-19 Annual Report in August 2019.

Annex A

Key Initiatives funded through the Strategy
Pillar 1: Preventing Gender-Based Violence
  • National Youth Awareness Strategy on Gender-Based Violence (WAGE)
  • Online Child Sexual Exploitation (PS)
  • Innovative Practices in Parenting Support Programs to Prevent Child Maltreatment (PHAC)
  • Innovative Practices in Youth/Teen Dating Violence Prevention (PHAC)
  • Bullying & Cyberbullying (PS)
Pillar 2: Supporting Survivors and their Families
  • Gender-Based Violence Program (WAGE)
  • Support to Canadian Centre for Child Protection (PS)
  • Family Crisis Teams (DND)
  • Settlement Program (IRCC)
  • Training for Health & Allied Professions (PHAC)
  • Support to Sexual Assault Centres near Canadian Armed Forces Bases & Wings (DND)
Pillar 3: Promoting Responsive Legal and Justice Systems
  • Cultural Competency Training for RCMP Employees (RCMP)
  • Online child sexual exploitation and transnational child sex offenders (RCMP)
  • Sexual Assault Review Team and Victim Support Action Plan (RCMP)
Knowledge Centre
  • Focal point: Lead, coordination, and governance of the Strategy
  • Data synthesis and mobilizing research in priority areas
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Reporting on the Strategy’s progress and results
  • Online knowledge portal
Human trafficking - Tab 9


Canada has been identified as a source, destination, and transit country for human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. Human trafficking is a highly gendered crime and a form of Gender-Based Violence as 95% of police-identified victims in Canada are women and girls.

On September 4, 2019, a National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking was launched by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, with investments of $57 million over five years and $10 million per year ongoing. The new Strategy takes a whole-of-government approach that will:

  • empower victims and survivors to regain self-confidence and control over their lives;
  • prevent more of these crimes from taking place;
  • better protect those who are most vulnerable to trafficking;
  • prosecute human traffickers for their heinous crimes; and,
  • embrace partnerships with provinces and territories and other organizations to maximize our impact.

The National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking builds on the investment to establish the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the final evaluation of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (2012-2016), the targeted engagements with stakeholders in 2018, and the engagements held for the development of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

The new National Strategy proposed a number of new and expanded initiatives implemented by Public Safety, Canada Border Services Agency, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

WAGE received $10 million, starting in 2020-21, and $2 million per year ongoing to develop the Continuum of Care Prevention and Interventions for Vulnerable Populations initiative. The initiative will fund eligible organizations to:

  • develop, deliver, and test innovative prevention programs for at-risk populations, including women and girls, Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQ2 and gender non-binary people, children and youth; and,
  • develop, deliver, and test innovative short-term continuum of care interventions to support survivors while they transition out of human trafficking, reintegrate into their communities, and begin their healing and recovery process.

Current status

  • WAGE’s new initiative will begin in Year 2 of the Strategy (2020-21).
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls - Tab 10


Indigenous women account for 16% of all murdered females between 1980 and 2012 despite making up only 4% of the female population. From 2001 – 2015, the homicide rate for Indigenous women was nearly six times higher than that for non-Indigenous women.

In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 Calls to Action. In response to #41, the Government of Canada launched the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in 2016, with the mandate to inquire into and report on the underlying causes and systemic issues that contribute to the high levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

In June 2018, the Government responded to the MMIWG Interim Report by investing nearly $50M to increase health supports and victim services, establishing an MMIWG Commemoration Fund of $10M through Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), initiating a review of police practices and a new national investigative standards and practices unit at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

On June 3, 2019, the National Inquiry released its Final Report which included 231 Calls for Justice to be taken by federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, institutions, social service providers, industry, and all Canadians – calling for transformative legal and social changes. The Final Report further calls for the decolonizing of Canadian society and reinstating the power and place of Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people by indigenizing structures, institutions, legislation, and policies.

The Government of Canada committed to bring forward a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ and two-spirit people

Current status

WAGE will continue to implement its projects under the MMIWG Commemoration Fund and will continue to work with other government departments on the plan forward.

Research - Tab 11


Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) is mandated to advance equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders, including women, in Canada’s economic, social, and political life. A strong research program is necessary to support evidence-based policy and programming related to this mandate. To this end, the department undertakes, coordinates and commissions research, with an annual envelope of approximately $8.6 million operating dollars to execute this function.

The department’s current research activities are grouped into five thematic priority areas:

  • education and skills development;
  • economic participation and prosperity;
  • leadership and democratic participation;
  • gender-based violence (GBV) and access to justice; and,
  • poverty reduction, health and well-being.

Research projects are designed to support evidence-based policy and programs by governments, civil society organizations, private sector organizations and others working to advance gender equality in Canada, as well as to facilitate monitoring of progress towards gender equality in Canada. For example, findings from several of the Department’s research projects on the prevalence and nature of gender-based violence in Canada, formed the basis of priorities in the federal gender-based violence strategy.  Further, in order to facilitate monitoring of gender equality in Canada, WAGE’s research team worked in collaboration with Finance Canada and Global Affairs Canada to develop a framework of goals and indicators (Gender Results Framework).

To carry out its research function, the Department uses a variety of mechanisms, including in-house research, agreements with other federal departments, support to national research networks, and contracts to private industry, academics and other non-government organizations. One of the key partners of WAGE’s research program is Statistics Canada, who carries out targeted studies on behalf of WAGE, using their large data sets. The Department also partners with Statistics Canada to conduct new national surveys related to GBV. These surveys will result in some of the first-ever national snapshots of GBV, and will inform policies and programs to prevent and address GBV in Canada.

Research products developed or commissioned by the Department are shared using a breadth of mechanisms, including the Department’s online GBV Knowledge Centre platform, Statistics Canada’s flagship publications and its Diversity and Inclusion Statistics Hub, as well as through written research summaries and presentations.

Federal, provincial/territorial ministers responsible for the Status of Women - Tab 12


Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) plays an active role in supporting the Government of Canada’s priorities on gender equality through its intergovernmental relations with provinces and territories (P/Ts) which are all engaged in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

This collaboration happens through the Federal-Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Forum of Ministers responsible for the Status of Women, which was established in 1982. The FPT Forum meets annually at the ministerial level to share knowledge and information, explore ways to advance equality for women and girls, and undertake collaborative initiatives in priority areas, as agreed upon by consensus.

In addition to these annual face-to-face meetings, ministerial teleconference calls can also be arranged on an ad hoc basis to discuss key issues. Senior officials-level meetings and conference calls are held throughout the year to advance the annual agenda and work plan mandated by the ministers at the annual FPT Ministerial Meeting.

To carry out the work set out at the annual FPT Ministerial Meeting, task teams made up of FPT officials are established. These task teams conduct their respective work/projects and report back to ministers the following year.

In order to strengthen engagement with Indigenous Peoples, the FPT Forum began to engage with National Indigenous Leaders and Representatives (NILRs) prior to the FPT Ministerial and the Senior Officials Meetings.

Current status

WAGE is the federal chair of the FPT Forum, and co-chairs with a provincial/territorial Minister Responsible for the Status of Women on a rotational basis. For 2019, the P/T co-chair is British Columbia, led by their Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Mitzi Dean. As this year’s co-chair, British Columbia will host the annual FPT Ministerial meeting, which will take place on December 3 and 4, in Victoria, British Columbia.

International Relations - Tab 13


While gender equality is recognized internationally as a fundamental human right critical to a healthy society and a strong economy, gender inequality is pervasive and persists in every country.

The United Nations (UN) is the main multilateral body responsible for international human rights, including gender equality on a global scale, with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 serving as the guiding global policy framework and blueprint for action in support of equality for women and girls. Canada has a longstanding commitment to supporting gender equality internationally and domestically, including its work with the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN Women.

Canada’s credibility internationally rests in large part on its domestic work and achievements, which is done in partnership with provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, as well as with Canadian NGOs at home and abroad. Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) is the federal lead on gender equality and supports Canada’s representation in key international fora and events to achieve the following objectives:

  • Fulfill Canada’s international obligations on gender equality, specifically:
    • Lead Canada’s reporting under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the main international treaty outlining the human rights of women. Canada is legally obligated to advance and protect these rights as well as to report on domestic progress every five years as per the provisions of this treaty (ratified it in 1981).
    • Support other federal initiatives with respect to gender equality under other UN Human Rights Conventions (e.g., Rights of the Child). 
  • Advance Canada’s domestic gender equality priorities through international best practices, including:
    • Engagement with international fora involving women (UN, G7, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Commonwealth) to support domestic gender equality priorities, identify innovative approaches that can be adapted for the Canadian context and showcase successful Canadian practices.
    • Learning from diverse experiences to enhance domestic results as well as promote successful Canadian initiatives on gender equality. For example, WAGE has strong working relationships with the United Kingdom (Public Policy Forum), Australia (Canada-Australia Public Policy Initiative), and France (Leaders’ Commitment).
  • Support the Government of Canada’s foreign policy objectives:
    • Collaborate with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and with Canadian civil society to support Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in promoting Canadian values and advancing federal priorities abroad (e.g., gender equality expertise on issues such as gender-based analysis; gender-based violence; the rights of Indigenous women and girls; trade; human rights; and other foreign policy objectives).

Current status

While WAGE has actively participated in international fora that play a role in advancing women and gender equality for years, the increased mainstreaming of gender equality into a range of areas (e.g., economy, trade, environment) coupled with the international attention around rights issues has resulted in a greater need for gender equality expertise and support from WAGE in various international fora and initiatives, including as part of Canada’s whole-of-government approach to gender equality.

2020 will be a milestone year for international gender equality as it marks the 25th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25), the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security, five years into the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (Sustainable Development Goal 5 focuses on gender equality).

In the lead up to Beijing+25, WAGE coordinated the development of Canada’s National Review Report and submitted it to the UN in summer 2019 and will lead Canada’s participation in global meetings and events related to Beijing+25. There will also be a number of opportunities for Ministerial engagement with key international and domestic stakeholders for consideration including the UN Commission on the Status of Women (March 9-20, 2020) in New York.

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