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Section II – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Analysis by Program Activity

Strategic Outcome:
Strengthen the full participation of women in the economic, social, and cultural life of Canada.

Program Activity Name:
Development of strategic policy advice and partnerships

Financial resources ($ millions)
Financial resources ($ millions)

Human resources (FTEs)
Human resources (FTEs)

SWC collaborates on initiatives with other federal departments, provincial/territorial governments, civil society, and key international partners to address women’s issues. This program activity equally involves the development of strategic policy advice, tools, and partnerships to support federal departments and central agencies in integrating gender-based analysis in Government policies and programs, and in developing better evidence-based policy.

SWC will continue to work with federal, provincial, and territorial partners in identifying and supporting the removal of barriers to the equality of women in Canadian society. In 2008–09, SWC will provide support to selected departments on targeted and proposed government priorities in order to assist departments in meeting the specific needs of women, with a particular focus on Aboriginal women and women’s economic prosperity.

For Aboriginal women, SWC will continue to work with other federal, provincial, and territorial departments on evidence-based and culturally relevant policies and programs that address Aboriginal women’s human rights as well as their economic prosperity and legal status. In 2008–09, Status of Women Canada will work with other federal departments on the development of action plans in collaboration with Aboriginal women, the provinces, and territories to enhance Aboriginal women’s health, well-being, equality, and security in society. The strategies and key action plans will be discussed at the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit (NAWS) in July 2008. Specific NAWS recommendations encompass ensuring that economic opportunities and strategies consider all of the socio-economic conditions and cultural measures that are required to create the right environment for Aboriginal women to participate in the economy.

Through its Federal/Provincial/Territorial (F/P/T) forum, in 2008–09, SWC will continue to work on justice officials training related to Aboriginal women and violence in order to improve how Aboriginal women are treated by justice officials, as well as on the promotion of Aboriginal women to leadership positions to ensure their participation in decision-making and to support their economic prosperity.

Women are a vital economic and social resource in Canada, experiencing tremendous gains in areas such as education and labour force participation, but also significant constraints in terms of economic prosperity. In 2008–09, SWC will work on advancing women’s role in long-term economic prosperity by working with departments, with other governments, and with civil society representatives to identify gaps and suggest improvements, such as supports that enable women to address the earnings gap and social issues such as lack of adequate housing and violence prevention. SWC will also advance women and leadership initiatives, working with various partners.

SWC will continue to support departments and other stakeholders in integrating Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) in the design and implementation of key government priorities. Building on work on accountability mechanisms for the integration of GBA into all policies and programs, SWC will continue to support the central agencies in building their GBA capacity. In 2008–09, SWC will also provide support to other government departments to increase their capacity to conduct GBA in order to meet their accountabilities.

SWC will also monitor, collect, and analyze progress on gender equality and gender-based analysis, with a focus on generating knowledge and tools on gender issues and GBA practices. In 2008–09, the department will continue to generate evidence-based knowledge through the Gender Equality Indicator Project, which entails creating a set of indicators on trends in the situation of women and men over time.

In 2008–09, SWC will continue to further Canada’s domestic and foreign policy and meet Canada’s international obligations for advancing gender equality. SWC will meet international commitments and obligations by participating in key international activities (such as the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women) that support Canada’s role as a leader in promoting women’s equality in society and will share knowledge that advances the status of women.

Expected result: New or improved policy positions and strategies that strengthen women’s equality.

Performance indicator: Strategies/policies/initiatives are developed with key departments that address the situation of women in Canada.

Program Activity Name:
Financial assistance for projects to improve social, economic, and cultural outcomes for women

Financial resources ($ millions)
Financial resources

Human resources (FTEs)
Human resources (FTEs)

In 2006, the terms and conditions of the Women’s Program were renewed, which resulted in changes to the program framework, including the mandate, objective, and outcomes in an effort to demonstrate linkages between WP funding and measurable, direct impacts on women.

The Women’s Program delivery model was restructured, introducing two new components:
  • The Women’s Community Fund: a grants and contributions fund for eligible recipients to carry out projects at the local, regional, or national level. This Fund solicits applications using calls for proposals targeted to priority issues and women’s populations; and
  • The Women’s Partnership Fund: a contribution fund for collaborative projects that involve partners such as public institutions and non-governmental organizations. This Fund operates through an ongoing intake of funding requests.

Further refinements to the Women’s Program framework, including important changes to the mandate, objective, and outcomes were introduced in the 2007–08 fiscal year and will affect the delivery of the WP in 2008–09. Firstly, the “equality of women” component has been reintroduced in the mandate of the Women’s Program, to reinforce emphasis on women’s equality issues. Secondly, in addition to focusing on the key areas affecting the economic and social situation of women, the WP focus was expanded to encourage women’s participation in democratic life, which will contribute towards achieving the equality of women and their active contribution to Canadian society. Thirdly, outcomes were adjusted so that in addition to funding projects that have a direct impact on women in their communities, projects that address the broader context and bring benefits to women in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada could be funded.

Furthermore, the Women’s Program no longer identifies priority populations (Aboriginal, seniors, ethnic, and immigrant minorities); it works to bring about the advancement of all women in Canada. Finally, the Women’s Program priority areas have been expanded to include areas such as economic prosperity and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. These changes will not only broaden the reach of the Women’s Program to include a larger segment of women across Canada, but also expand the scope of the WP. This comprehensive approach will enable the achievement of meaningful results for Canadian women and Canadians.

The Women’s Program obtained additional funding in the March 2007 budget, bringing the total funding level of grants and contributions funding from $11 million in 2006–07 to $21 million in 2008–09. It is expected that the increased funding to the Women’s Program will result in a continued increase in the numbers and types of organizations applying and receiving funding.

To improve women’s participation in all spheres of Canadian life, SWC will continue to provide financial assistance to women’s and other equality-seeking organizations addressing significant barriers to participation faced by Canadian women. As well, SWC will work to develop and strengthen partnerships with the public, non-profit, and private sectors, so that they may play a role in facilitating the full participation of women in Canadian society; this approach facilitates the ownership of “women’s issues” and helps make them societal issues.

In working toward bringing “increased benefits” and “increased opportunities” for women, SWC is focussing the Women’s Program on funding projects that will enhance and/or promote the equality of women and their full participation in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canadian society. This strategic outcome complements Status of Women Canada’s mandate, and is reinforced by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s adherence to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). SWC will therefore contribute to the Government of Canada’s commitment to building a society that is inclusive and respectful of all Canadians.

During 2008–09 SWC will
  • provide financial assistance to organizations addressing significant barriers to participation faced by women (for example, continue to increase the number and types of organizations applying and receiving funding, launch two calls for proposals for the Women’s Community Fund, and ongoing intake for the Women’s Partnership Fund);
  • continue to provide technical support as well as information and training sessions to organizations (for example, facilitate networking of different groups that share a common goal, help groups gain access to, or provide access to resource materials and tools that help organizations work more effectively);
  • work to develop and strengthen partnerships with the public, non-profit, and private sectors, so that they may play a role in facilitating the full participation of women in Canadian society;
  • in line with the SWC priorities, the WP will continue to work closely with Aboriginal women’s and other organizations on issues such as prevention of violence and economic security in line with the SWC Sisters-In-Spirit initiative to address sexualized, racialized violence against Aboriginal women;
  • better integrate SWC policy and programming with a focus on achieving more concrete results;
  • continue to implement the SWC Management Response to the summative evaluation of the WP and the 2006 Integrated Results-Based Management Framework and Risk-Based Audit Framework (RMAF/RBAF) (for example, undertaking a review of the WP to gauge results, adopt best practices, and improve on areas of focus, strengthen monitoring and accountability mechanisms for the WP and the projects it funds, etc.)
  • continue to streamline WP administration with more efficient and structured management strategies (for example, to assess proposals, developing guides and tools to better assist program officers and organizations, a greater investment in, and use of, information technology; a standard application and review process; and funding investment more targeted toward SWC priorities, etc.);
  • conduct a formative evaluation of the implementation of the new WP.

Expected result: Increased opportunities for women to participate fully in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada.

Performance indicator: Evidence of/degree of use of new knowledge, skills, and practices (for example, attitudinal shifts and changes in practices) and level of participation of women in their communities/societies.

In 2008–09, the fourth year of the five-year Sisters in Spirit (SIS) initiative, Status of Women Canada (SWC) will continue to work with the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to address the underlying factors contributing to racialized, sexualized violence against Aboriginal women and their socio-economic, political, and legal status.

SWC will work in collaboration with key government departments in developing and implementing policies, programs, services, and practices on four key policy areas: reduced violence; improved education and employment outcomes; safe housing; and access to justice.

These initiatives will aim at enhancing the rights and life conditions of Aboriginal women, thus reducing and ultimately eliminating violence against them.

SWC will promote and facilitate the creation of an Interdepartmental Steering Committee for the SIS initiative, with a mandate to provide strategic direction, review progress of work, and make decisions, as appropriate, for the work of the SIS Joint Working Group regarding strategies and approaches related to the implementation of SIS.

SWC will liaise, coordinate, and strategize with the Family Violence Initiative (FVI) Interdepartmental Working Group and the FVI-Provincial/Territorial Working Group, the FVI Working Group on Aboriginal Family Violence, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Victims of Crime Working Group, the FPT Working Group on Missing Women, and, with our Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women counterparts, to address policy areas being put forward by NWAC and other Aboriginal women’s groups, by targeting specific areas for action to promote the safety of Aboriginal women.

Expected result: Engagement and support of other government departments in strategic partnerships on issues related to violence and Aboriginal women.

Performance indicator: Aboriginal women are positively impacted by policies, programs, and initiatives of federal departments which address the underlying causes of violence against Aboriginal women.