We need a critical mass of women leaders – Minister Hajdu

Having more women represented in civic, provincial and federal politics is a non-partisan effort with women reaching across political lines.
Having more women represented in civic, provincial and federal politics is a non-partisan effort with women reaching across political lines.

“ONWA’s vision is to be a unified voice for equity, equality and justice for Aboriginal women. On a daily basis, ONWA advocates on behalf of Aboriginal women and their families for safer communities, improved and increased access to social services, increased affordable housing, improved and self-governed education, and for the elimination of violence,” says Betty Kennedy, ONWA Executive Director.OTTAWA – “We need a critical mass of women leaders, not only in the corridors of power, but in all aspects of public life to help shape Canada in a way that supports the advancement of women. This call for proposals will support projects to empower a diversity of women in leadership roles in Canada, stated The Honourable Patty Hajdu Minister of Status of Women.

Achieving gender equality depends on ensuring that the voices of diverse women are heard in Canada’s public discourse. When women are empowered to participate in the democratic and public life of their country, they can shape the institutions and decisions that affect their lives. Today, as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing gender equality, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, invited organizations to submit proposals for projects that increase women’s participation in the democratic and public life.

This call for proposals is divided into two streams. Under the first stream, Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities,the Government of Canada will support projects that will strengthen the voices of Indigenous women on issues of importance to them and their communities.

Projects under the second stream will focus on two themes. The first, Empowering Women for Political Action, will promote the participation of women in political life (e.g. addressing barriers to running for elected positions). The second, Empowering Women for Community Action, will include projects that improve conditions for women by amplifying women’s voices and enhancing their civic participation.

Minister Hajdu made the announcement at an event hosted by Equal Voice to welcome the women elected to the 42nd Parliament.Equal Voice is an Ottawa-based organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada. During the event, the Minister spoke about her personal experiences in leadership roles at the grassroots level and her transition into politics, highlighting the challenges that women leaders continue to face.

Quick Facts

  • Status of Women Canada is soliciting proposals for projects that will empower women to participate more actively in the democratic and public life of Canada.
  • Organizations can apply for funding under Stream 1 of this call for proposals – Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities – by visiting the women.gc.ca website and submitting an application by June 1, 2016.
  • Organizations can apply for funding under Stream 2 – which includes both Empowering Women for Political Action and Empowering Women for Community Action – by visiting the women.gc.ca website and submitting an application by April 20, 2016.
  • A record 88 women were elected to serve in Canada’s 42nd Parliament, representing 26 per cent of all Members of Parliament. For the first time in Canadian history, 50 per cent of federal Cabinet Ministers are women.
  • At the municipal level, as of May 2015, 18 per cent of Canadian mayors and 28 per cent of city councillors were women.
  • As of 2014, women represented 18.6 per cent of First Nations Band Chiefs. Of 2,728 Band Councillors, 801 (29 per cent) were women.
  • Having the opportunity to participate in public life is an essential component of women’s empowerment and key to achieving gender equality. This International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016, the Government of Canada is highlighting the importance of women’s empowerment with the theme Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality.
  • The Government of Canada is asking Canadians to show us what empowerment means by tagging an inspiring woman on social media with the #YouAreEmpowerment hashtag.


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