From Status of Women Canada

Projects will engage local women leaders in pan-Canadian network to support a thriving gender equality movement

AUGUST 31, 2017, SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK – Status of Women Canada

As Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it is important to reflect on our legacy for the future. Despite the important milestones witnessed in these 150 years, women, girls, and gender non-conforming people still face hardships. There is more work remaining for gender equality to become a reality in Canada. By investing in a strong and thriving women’s movement today, we are laying the foundation for gender equality tomorrow.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, along with Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John / Rothesay, announced Government of Canada funding for projects that will help advance gender equality in Atlantic Canada.

Organizations in the Atlantic region are receiving funding of more than $2 million for projects that will challenge barriers to gender equality, including:

Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association ($395,000): to prevent sexual violence against women and girls in the rural County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre ($283,000): to improve women’s access to the justice system when reporting sexual violence to

police in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Saint John Women’s Empowerment Network ($313,000): to enhance access to childcare for low-income women in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Women’s Network PEI ($352,000): to improve women’s access to childcare in Prince Edward Island.

Other gender equality projects in the Atlantic region will be announced at a later date.

These initiatives are part of an investment of over $18 million by the federal government to support grassroots organizations and engage 150 women leaders across the country. These leaders will work together as part of a pan-Canadian network to support feminist action for gender equality at the national level. The network is being convened by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

As a digital partner with Status of Women Canada, Instagram offered participants at the event a learning session on social media best practices to create communities and maximize audiences.

“Dynamic leaders are the heart of the women’s movement and their passion and engagement are the key to achieving gender equality. Today’s panel discussion shows the power of these leaders and their organizations to catalyze change and inspire action that benefits all of us, in Atlantic Canada, as well as in the entire country. I am proud to support their efforts and of our government’s ongoing commitment to gender equality.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women


“Choosing to report a sexual assault to police is a difficult decision and, sometimes, the criminal justice system itself can seem like an obstacle. Through this project, we will work to identify and address the systemic barriers that prevent survivors’ from seeking justice. Improving conditions for women reporting sexual assault is an important step toward preventing these crimes in the future.”

Lorraine Whalley, Director
Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre


“Access to quality childcare is essential for working parents and can be instrumental in helping women to get ahead financially. Finding affordable childcare can be difficult, especially for those who need it most. We are proud to work with the Government of Canada on this project, which will explore ways to improve access to childcare for women with low incomes, unconventional work schedules or special needs children.

Brenda Murphy, Executive Director
Saint John Women’s Empowerment Network


“We are very excited to work with the Government of Canada on this project to improve access to childcare in Prince Edward Island. Inadequate childcare services can make it difficult for women to balance career and family and this affects economic growth. Through this project, we look forward to removing some of the barriers that prevent women from achieving their full potential.”

Jillian Kilfoil, Executive Director
Women’s Network PEI


“Sexual violence can happen anywhere, in communities both big and small. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that Antigonish is equipped to address this problem. Together, we will take action to prevent sexual violence against women and prepare ourselves to support survivors effectively when it does occur.”

Lucille Harper, Executive Director
Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association

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