Canada announces $100M "Feminist Response and Recovery Fund” to help women hit hardest by pandemic

Feb 11 2021, 3:56 pm

Stating that “women have been hit the hardest by COVID,” the federal government unveiled today what it calls the “Feminist Response and Recovery Fund.”

On Thursday, Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, launched a new call for proposals through Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Women’s Program. The call, entitled “Feminist Response and Recovery Fund,” will provide $100 million for projects helping those in greatest need.

The fund “will support local, regional, and national efforts to end violence against women and girls, improve women’s economic security and to increase the participation of women and girls in decision making roles,” said Monsef. ” Women have been hardest hit by COVID. They continue to take on the majority of the work on the front lines of the pandemic. The shecession is real and unless Canadian women are working, safe, with their families cared for, we will not fully recover from the pandemic.”

Monsef said the funding will allow recipient organizations to launch new projects or scale up past projects that increase women and girls’ participation in Canada’s economic, social, democratic and political life. Eligible projects will tackle barriers, address harmful gender norms and attitudes, or improve policies, practices, resource distribution, networks and relationships.

“Recognizing the need for a feminist, intersectional response to COVID-19, Women and Gender Equality Canada will direct funding to projects supporting marginalized or underrepresented people, including Indigenous women, Black women, women of colour, women who are members of LGBTQ2 communities, and women living with disabilities or in rural or remote communities,” the government said.

The government said this call for proposals aims to provide flexibility, allowing organizations to respond to a wide range of issues in order to accelerate progress on gender equality and ensure that Canada’s response to and recovery from COVID-19 is inclusive of diverse women. These projects will serve as building blocks for long-term, lasting change to advance women’s equality.

The women’s program provides funding to eligible organizations in three priority areas:

  • Ending violence against women and girls
  • Improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity
  • Encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles

Recognizing that COVID-19 has increased the rates and severity of gender-based violence (GBV), the Government of Canada said it has provided $100 million directly to organizations that support survivors and their families. Combined with new flexibilities to existing programs, this funding has supported over 1,500 organizations, helping them keep their doors open at this challenging time.

The call for proposals is open until March 25, 2021 at 12 pm PST.