Government of Canada announces investment in women’s organizations in Ontario’s Tri-Cities area

Seven projects from Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford are receiving funding to ensure women’s organizations can continue providing essential supports to women and their families

April 17, 2019 – Kitchener, Ontario – Department for Women and Gender Equality

Women’s organizations provide vital services to 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, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Waterloo, Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, and Marwan Tabbara, Member of Parliament for Kitchener South-Hespeler, 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 $1.3 million in women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in Ontario’s Tri-Cities area.

Government House Leader Chagger, along with Members of Parliament Saini and Tabbara, highlighted the seven organizations that will receive funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information and testimonials):

  • Coalition of Muslim Women of KW (Kitchener West);
  • Focus for Ethnic Women, Waterloo Region;
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Young Women’s Christian Association;
  • Nova Vita Women’s Shelter Inc.;
  • Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region;
  • Sexual Health Options, Resources & Education Centre; and
  • Young Women’s Christian Association of Cambridge.

These organizations are 7 of the more than 250 women’s organization, and Indigenous organizations serving women across Canada receiving funding under the Capacity-building Fund. This investment stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada.


“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 stable and flexible funding in the Tri-Cities area, we are helping organizations 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

“Our Government is working hard to advance equality for women and girls in Canada and around the world. Focus for Ethnic Women (FEW) Waterloo Region works with women who are immigrants, refugees, or visible minorities with skills development programs close to their homes that give them the tools they need to succeed in our economy. This funding will ensure FEW has the capacity to develop new tools and programs to better serve Waterloo Region.” 

The Honourable Bardish Chagger
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“This investment is wonderful news for the entire Waterloo Region community. The funding will strengthen the capacity of organizations in our region that already work tirelessly to address gender equality in society. I look forward to seeing the heightened impact our community organizations will have from this investment as they continue working to ensure that every woman and girl is able to fully participate and thrive in Waterloo Region.”

Raj Saini
Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

“This funding allows local organizations that are doing incredible work to support women in our community to increase their capacity and continue to deliver their vital programs.”

Marwan Tabbara
Member of Parliament for Kitchener South-Hespeler

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 2015, women in Canada earned on average 88 cents for every dollar earned by men. They are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76% of all part-time workers, with 25% 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 (Statistics Canada, 2015).
  • 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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Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Department for Women and Gender Equality


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