Is the Women’s Program the right match for me?
The mandate of the Women’s Program is to advance equality for women in Canada by working to create conditions for women’s success.
All projects funded by the Women’s Program must contribute to the fulfillment of this mandate. To do this, potential applicants should keep the following key considerations in mind when deciding whether or not to develop an application for funding from the Women’s Program:
- The focus of the Women’s Program is not on directly assisting or changing women, but on changing the environment (systemic change) to ensure that women and girls are not excluded because of their gender. To do this, the Women’s Program focuses on supporting projects that work to change practices, policies, customs, etc. that prevent or discourage the participation of women and girls.
- The Women’s Program funds projects. A project is defined as having a start date and an end date, and has activities that are time-limited. The Women’s Program cannot fund ongoing programs or services offered by organizations, such as sheltering abused women, and/or providing personal or group counselling that are part of an organization’s regular activities.
- Projects must work with others. Projects must undertake activities that create, develop or sustain partnerships. Women affected by the issue, partners and stakeholders work together to address the barriers that women and girls face. Change requires action by many players and it is only by including others that necessary changes can be made, and sustained, beyond the life of a particular project.
Here are some examples of activities the Women’s Program can and cannot fund:
Cannot fund projects that:
- Provide shelter or counselling services to women who are victims of abuse or violence and their children.
- Provide self-defence courses for women who are victims of violence.
- Are centered around an event (conference/forum) to address the issue of violence against women as the primary activity of the project.
- Provide emergency services to women leaving abusive relationships.
Could fund projects that:
- Help a shelter work with other service deliverers to develop protocols to ensure that women who have experienced or are at risk of violence are able to access the services they need.
- Support a project that works with community partners to develop plans to improve women’s safety.
- Involve a network of key stakeholders in the identification or exchange of best practices (this could apply to shelters, transition houses, sexual assault centres, women's centres, etc.).
- Use gender-based analysis as a tool to identify and address systemic barriers created by policies and processes that limit women's ability to leave abusive relationships.
Not all organizations are a good fit for Women’s Program funding. However, you are encouraged to apply if your organization:
- works to change conditions at the systemic level;
- has a track record of engaging and consulting with others;
- is a coalition or works in partnership with other organizations and stakeholders on an ongoing basis; and
- is familiar with the issue of violence against women and girls, and is able to use gender-based analysis or is willing to bring in specialized gender-based expertise to assist with your project.
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