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Government of Canada announces investment in Northwest Territories' women's organizations

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 Four projects from the Northwest Territories are receiving funding to ensure women's organizations can continue providing essential supports to women and their families

OTTAWA, April 15, 2019 /CNW/ - Women's organizations provide vital services in our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence, and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society. Yet for far too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. The Government of Canada recognizes that women's organizations are the lifeblood of the women's movement, and that maintaining and growing their ability to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality.

That's why today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada will invest over $1.6 million in women's organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in the Northwest Territories under the Capacity-building Fund. The funding stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada.

Four organizations based in Yellowknife will receive funding:

  • Dechinta Initiatives will receive $363,966 for their project Dechinta – Indigenous women and education, which will provide support to develop more effective policies to better serve First Nations women;
  • FOXY will receive $371,526 for their project Capacity Building for Advancing the Equality of Northern Indigenous Women, to expand their service capacity to advance the equality of Indigenous women in the North;
  • Yellowknife Women's Society will receive $268,800 for their project Yellowknife Women's Society Capacity and Sustainability Revitalization, to improve the organization's human resources capacity, financial stability, and advocacy strategy; and
  • YWCA NWT will receive $603,415 for their project Building northern capacity to advance gender equality in the NWT, to build their capacity and strengthen advocacy which will help advance gender equality across the territory.

Quotes

"With this historic investment, we recognize the women and women's organizations breaking through barriers and express our gratitude to those who have been doing this work for decades on little more than a shoestring budget. The women's movement across Canada has been asking for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work. Our government listened. With this stable and flexible funding, we are helping Dechinta Initiatives, FOXY, Yellowknife Women's Society and YWCA NWT scale up so they can grow and endure, because we know that investing in women's organizations is the most effective way to advance gender equality. By supporting a movement that has achieved amazing results, we are growing the middle class, strengthening families and communities, and creating lasting change that benefits everyone."

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

"These four organizations are doing incredible work on the advancement of women and gender equality in the Northwest Territories. With the federal investments announced today, they are better prepared to continue making progress in our territory, now and over the long-term."

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

"Our goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate the barriers faced by Indigenous women in northern communities who are seeking post-secondary education. Our organization continues to respond to the changing needs of communities. This important support from the federal government will provide the financial stability and targeted support to revise and evaluate our current capacity and governance to continue to support Indigenous women to achieve post-secondary success."

Glen Coulthard, Chair, Board of Directors
Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning

"We are pleased the Government's new funding model for women's organizations recognizes the need for more stable, long-term commitments. With this investment, we will strengthen our capacity to serve our community, and reduce our dependence on government funding over time. This transition will allow us to become more effective and efficient as we maintain our focus on advancing equality for Indigenous women in Northern Canada."

Candice Lys, Executive Director
FOXY

"Our new project will help sustain our organization over the long-term and revitalize our work throughout Yellowknife. We are very thankful for the federal government's support, which we know will help improve the wellbeing of women and their families in our community."

Bryany Denning, Executive Director
Yellowknife Women's Society

"With our new project, and our organization's increased capacity, we have a real opportunity to make a difference in people's lives. Thanks to the Government of Canada, we'll be able advance gender equality in Yellowknife and across the Northwest Territories."

Cherish Winsor, Board Chair
YWCA NWT

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2018 announced $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada. Adding to this historic investment, Budget 2019 proposes to invest a further $160 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, in the Department for Women and Gender Equality's Women's Program. This means that by 2023–24, the Women's Program, which supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers, will total $100 million annually.
  • This funding will enable women's organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women to tackle systemic barriers impeding women's progress, while recognizing and addressing the diverse experiences of gender and inequality across the country.
  • Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2018, women in Canada earned just 88 cents for every dollar earned by men, based on median earnings of full-time workers. The gender pay gap is worse when considering Indigenous women, who earned only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men (Indigenous and non-Indigenous men). Women are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 75% of all part-time workers aged 25-54, with 27% of women reporting childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.
  • Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at particular risk. According to the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into account. Indigenous women are more likely to experience violence and reported having been the victim of a violent crime at a rate 2.7 higher than that reported by non-Indigenous women (219 incidents per 1,000 population versus 81 incidents per 1,000). Women living in the territories were also at a higher risk of violent victimization than women living in the provinces (182 versus 85 per 1,000 population).
  • Canada will host the Women Deliver 2019 Conference from June 3 to 6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Held every three years, it is the world's largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls.
  • The conference is part of a global movement to promote gender equality worldwide that gives voice to a broad spectrum of people, including Indigenous peoples, youth and those living in conflict and crisis settings. It will bring together more than 6,000 individuals—world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, youth and journalists—from more than 160 countries, with an additional 100,000 people joining virtually.

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Backgrounder

Department for Women and Gender Equality – Women's Program 

One of the ways the Department for Women and Gender Equality advances gender equality in Canada is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women's Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women's Program to address emerging issues as they arise.                                                  

The Women's Program funds projects that address systemic barriers to women's equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security and prosperity of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Capacity-building Call for Proposals

In October 2018, Minister Monsef announced a Call for Proposals under the Capacity-building Fund of the Women's Program. Projects at the local, provincial, and national level were eligible for different amounts of funding, based on their specific need and reach.

On March 8, 2019, International Women's Day, Minister Monsef announced that over 250 women's organizations across the country would receive funding from the Capacity-building Fund.

The objective is to fund proposals that will increase the capacity of eligible women's organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women, whose initiatives contribute to a viable women's movement in Canada that advances gender equality. Funding will increase the ability of organizations to grow, meet the increasing demands for their services, and continue to work collectively to address gender equality issues. The fund stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to help support a viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada.

Northwest Territories Projects

Today's announcement profiled four projects based in Yellowknife that were selected for federal funding:

Dechinta Initiatives

Project title: Dechinta – Indigenous women and education
Funding amount: $363,966

This project will review Dechinta's governance to develop more effective policies to better serve First Nations women. The organization will also develop a comprehensive communications plan advocating for a holistic approach to schooling that reduces the barriers faced by Indigenous women who are trying to access and obtain post-secondary schooling.

The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is internationally recognized for its innovative research and university program delivery and as a best-practice in Indigenous post-secondary education and research. The collaborative teaching and research environment demonstrates a clear commitment to valuing Indigenous knowledge. Dechinta's faculty includes northern leaders in the field of Indigenous studies, political science, environmental studies, law, and guest faculty drawn from interdisciplinary fields including environmental science and monitoring, geography and fine arts.

FOXY

Project title: Capacity Building for Advancing the Equality of Northern Indigenous Women
Funding amount: $371,526

This project's aim is to build and strengthen organizational capacity for FOXY to be a more effective and efficient organization for the advancement of equality for Indigenous women in Northern Canada. To strengthen capacity at the territorial level, the project's key activities will include strategic planning for the next 5 to 10 years, and a sustainability plan based on options for alternative revenue generation that will decrease FOXY's dependence on government funding. FOXY will also develop their knowledge and use of Gender-based Analysis Plus to support human resources and results-based management systems, and improve overall board governance.

FOXY, or Fostering Open eXpression among Youth, is a new way of working with young women and gender diverse youth to promote mental and sexual health. Since 2012, FOXY has reached out to over 3,000 youth in more than 35 northern communities and provided workshops and retreats to connect more than 200 Northern and Indigenous peer leaders.

Yellowknife Women's Society

Project title: Yellowknife Women's Society Capacity and Sustainability Revitalization
Funding amount: $268,800

The main objectives of this project are to improve the human resources capacity, financial stability, and advocacy strategy of the Yellowknife Women's Society. Fulfilling these objectives will allow the organization to increase their support for the wellbeing of women in their community.

The Yellowknife Women's Society was incorporated as a non-profit society in January 1990. Founding members decided the Yellowknife Women's Society would operate by consensus using a decision-making model designed to allow all women to co-exist equally in one group. The goal of the society was to support and assist women in empowering themselves so they could develop their goals, achieve wellness, enjoy equality and be recognized for the contribution they make to the community.

YWCA NWT

Project title: Building northern capacity to advance gender equality in the NWT
Funding amount: $603,415

The project's aim is to create a new position within the organization for an advocacy coordinator, which will build their capacity and help advance gender equality across the territory. Activities to be carried out include increased training for staff and the implementation of a strategic advocacy plan to improve outcomes throughout the territory. 

Originally known as YWCA Yellowknife, the organization was founded in 1966 to provide housing for single working women. Since then, the YWCA has offered a variety of services to women, girls and families in Yellowknife and beyond. Housing is still a key component of the YWCA mandate, along with shelter from family violence, afterschool care for children and empowerment programs. In 2017, YWCA Yellowknife became YWCA NWT – a name change reflecting the broader services and reach across the territory.

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SOURCE Department for Women and Gender Equality

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2019/15/c5292.html

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