Sector Resources

The Canadian Women’s Foundation regularly evaluates its funded programs to gain insight into their impact, develop a better understanding of best practices, and make program improvements.

We share these evaluation reports and commissioned research to help nonprofit organizations build their knowledge and capacity for developing programs that support gender equality.

Canadian Women’s Foundation Submission in Advance of the 2021 Federal Budget. The Foundation submitted its recommendations for key federal investments in advancing gender equality, which are more urgent than ever given the gendered impacts of the pandemic. Critical areas for investment include women’s safety, economic equality, childcare, and support for advancing diverse women in leadership.

Recovery through Equality: Developing an Inclusive Action Plan for Women in the Economy. With the Throne Speech promise of an Action Plan for Women in the Economy, the federal government committed to ensuring an intersectional feminist response to economic recovery from the pandemic. In this report, prominent gender justice advocates from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Ontario Nonprofit Network, have joined together to offer essential recommendations on how to make this inclusive plan a reality.

Stimulating Gender Equality: A GBA+ Approach to Economic Recovery, September 2020. The economic security of women in Canada has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to an extent that threatens equality gains. This calls for attention to childcare services, reliable school re-opening, women-majority economic sectors with continuing high unemployment and flexible, responsive, accessible income supports with an intersectional gender lens. Authored by Canadian Women’s Foundation, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Ontario NonProfit Network.

Gendered Impacts of COVID-19, April 2020The COVID-19 pandemic is a gender issue and an equity issue that should be considered through a human rights lens. We know that women, girls, and trans and non-binary people in Canada are already unable to access their full human rights; when these rights go unrealized in “ordinary times,” they are all the more vulnerable in times of widespread upheaval. This brief sheds light on the gendered impacts of this pandemic, the need for non-profit sector stabilization, and the importance of an intersectional gender analysis in policy at all levels in both the response and recovery. It has been shared with federal government ministers and officials, with women sector and other partners. It informs our policy decisions going forward.

Written Statement on Quebec’s Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State, May 2019.
In our understanding of Quebec as a pluralistic society, the Canadian Women’s Foundation supports the representation of this plurality in our public services. We do not believe that the state will achieve the goal of maintaining its secular and unbiased position by dictating the appearance of state employees and forcing them to remove their religious symbols as outlined in Bill 21. In pursuing this goal, Quebec’s Government may unfairly discriminate against certain groups. The Foundation believes that the National Assembly should consider this position on equity in the bill under consideration.

Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, May 2019.
Online hate that is directed at women is rooted in social inequity and seeks to control women’s behaviours through discomfort, anxiety and fear. Addressing online hate in Canada requires specific action by the federal government that is informed by a gender-based analysis and should remain a core principle of Canadian law. Unfortunately, current options do not sufficiently support those experiencing online hate because of the fact that they are women, or indeed anyone who experiences online hate due to their biological sex, gender associations and/or sexual orientation.

Urgent Action Needed to Ensure Indigenous Women Are Not Sterilized Without Their Consent, December 10, 2018
Forced and coerced sterilizations of Indigenous women are a result of systemic violence and discrimination against Indigenous peoples. These sterilizations are an assault on Indigenous women, their families, their communities, and their Nations that have already been subjected to forced assimilation through colonialism, including eugenic practices. The Foundation is one of 72 organizations endorsing this joint statement calling for government action to #DefendConsent and end #ForcedSterilization of Indigenous women in Canada.

Submission for consultation on handguns and assault weapons, November 18, 2018
In Canadian households, the presence of firearms is the single greatest risk factor for lethality of domestic violence. This letter addressing Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, outlines why the Canadian Women’s Foundation supports a ban on assault weapons and a ban on handguns, as part of our commitment to make the lives of women and girls safer.

Bill C-78: An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, November 16, 2018.
Given that preventing family violence is a key issue for the Canadian Women’s Foundation, this policy brief outlines recommendations for how Bill C-78 may be improved to reduce the risk of family violence and mitigate its impact. While some aspects of Bill C-78 are positive, others may place women at greater risk of experiencing continued family violence through the divorce process.

Submission for consultations in advance of the 2019 Budget
Canada’s competitiveness is significantly compromised if half of the population is left behind. Gender equity is fundamental to Canada’s social, political, and economic progress and to our prosperity. Public policy requires a robust, intersectional, gender-based analysis that considers differential impacts across communities. This submission contains 10 recommendations aimed at ensuring that Canada’s approach is gender responsive and inclusive.

Gun Control and Violence Prevention, May, 2018.
Firearms cause harm to Canadian women in a variety of ways. Access to a firearm in
the home closely correlates with risk of completed suicide and homicide. Firearm use is prevalent in spousal murder-suicides. This policy brief outlines why Canadian Women’s Foundation welcomes the direction of the federal government in Bill C-71 toward strengthening licensing and screening provisions, and recommends further steps in this direction. Submitted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, regarding Bill C-71: An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms.

National Housing Strategy: A Rights-Based Approach to Women and Housing, May, 2018.
Women’s safety depends on a long term, comprehensive approach that addresses the roots of women’s social, economic and political inequality. While eradication of violence is the goal, this can only be achieved if accountability mechanisms are built into all our social, political, and economic systems to ensure that they respond to the needs and rights of women and children to live free from violence. Implementing a right to safe and affordable housing can support this overall goal. Submitted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation to the National Housing Strategy consultation.

Written Submission to the Status of Women Canada, March 2017.
Despite indicators of progress, women are not yet equal participants in the Canadian economy. A wage gap persists, women are vastly underrepresented in STEM, and a high number of women are in precarious employment. Women’s economic inequality stems from systemic and structural barriers to women’s advancement that make it challenging for women to move out of poverty.

Brief to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, October 2016.
Campus violence and rape culture occur against a backdrop of victim-blaming, the normalization of sexist attitudes, institutional behaviours, ignorance about the laws of consent, poor institutional prevention programs and the lack of clear mechanisms to respond to sexual assault. Despite clear data on the unique vulnerability of young women to campus assault and harassment, there have been glaring gaps in adequate responses to campus violence institutionally, legislatively and pedagogically.

Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Trafficking Brief.
In order to address trafficking, we need to look at the root causes, including poverty, gendered violence, racism and lack of social services. In the current criminal justice system, there are significant barriers to accessing justice for Indigenous women, (im)migrant women/refugees, racialized women and women with disabilities. There need to be more safe pathways that focus on long-term, sustainable solutions for those who are in vulnerable positions and experiencing trafficking.

Sexual Exploitation/Trafficking: Essential Learnings from the Grassroots
Anti-Trafficking Grants Program Evaluation Summary 2016-2021

The Canadian Women’s Foundation addresses the conditions that make sexual exploitation/trafficking possible in Canada, including gender injustice, poverty, precarious housing and homelessness, racism, and the impacts of colonialization and intergenerational trauma. These systemic factors form the root causes of all forms of gender-based violence. This summary is based on a multi-year evaluation of these programs’ learnings and impacts, conducted by InsideOut Policy Research.

Violence Prevention Reviews

In 2011, the Canadian Women’s Foundation conducted a review of our work in the area of violence prevention. The goal of the review process is to continue to enrich and enhance our long-term strategy for preventing violence against women. The following scans were produced within the framework of the review process in order to inform the Canadian Women’s Foundation and stakeholders on the current issues affecting the sector.

Women with Disabilities and Abuse: Access to Supports (2011)
Prepared by: DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada

Violence Against Women with Disabilities – Violence Prevention Review (2011)
Prepared by: Vecova

Violence Against Aboriginal Women: Scan & Report (2011)
Prepared by: Manon Lamontagne

Report on Violence Against Women, Mental Health and Substance Use (2011)
Prepared by: BC Society of Transition Houses

Scan on Funding Policy Initiatives to Respond to VAW (2011)
Prepared by: Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters & Transition Houses

Healthy Relationships: Preventing teen dating violence (2011)

Healthy Relationships 101: An Overview of School-Based Healthy Relationships Programs (2012)

Teen Healthy Relationship Programming: National Learning Strategy (2013)

Leading for Change: National Evaluation of the Canadian Women’s Foundation Teen Healthy Relationships Program (2013-2017)

Building the Field of Teen Healthy Relationships: National Survey Data Report – Executive Summary (2017)

Building the Field of Teen Healthy Relationships: Mid-Project Report (2017)

Building the Field of Teen Healthy Relationships: Report to Field (2015-2018)

Building a Stronger Future: Economic Development Evaluation Highlights, 2009-2014

This highlights report summarizes the results of the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Economic Development program evaluation from 2009-2014. During this five-year cycle, the Foundation invested about $6 million in an economic development strategy that aimed to help women living on low incomes to build sustainable livelihoods. Much of this investment went into 10 women-centred programs across Canada that reached more than 3,000 women. During this 5-year cycle, the Foundation also invested in two Aboriginal Partnership Grants. This report summarizes the Foundation’s approach, findings, successes, and learnings from all of these funded programs.

Beyond Survival: Helping Women Transition out of Poverty

This report presents the results of the Canadian Women’s Foundation Economic Development Collaborative Fund. The Collaborative Fund was a five-year $4.8 million program that provided financial and technical support to ten community programs across Canada that helped low-income women transition out of poverty and build a sustainable livelihood. This report explains our approach, describes our research process, summarizes our findings, and analyzes the key lessons for practitioners, and the and implications for funders and policy-makers.

Infographic: How Women Build Sustainable Livelihoods

Infographic: Economic Development Theory of Change

Girls Fund 2009-2012 Evaluation Report

From 2009 to 2012, the Girls’ Fund supported 14 organizations across the country working with girls aged 9 to 13. These organizations participated in an evaluation of their programs and networks with the support of external evaluators. The evaluation looked at the process of implementing the girls’ programs, as well as the impact of the programs on girls’ lives.

Girls Fund 2012-2016 Evaluation Report

Girls’ Fund 2012-2016 Highlights  report

Leading for Change: A Report on the Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute Pilot Program

In 2012, the Foundation partnered with St. Francis Xavier University’s Coady International Institute to launch the Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute as a three-year pilot program. The vision was a women’s leadership institute that supports emerging women leaders in Canada’s non-profit sector, and promotes a broader, more inclusive approach to leadership. This report summarizes the evaluation data gathered throughout the pilot program, highlighting the Institute’s approach, successes, and lessons learned. It also touches on the plans for the next phase of this unique, innovative, and much-needed women’s leadership development program.

Learn how the Foundation is advancing gender equality through national and regional projects.

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