Report Excerpt | Resetting Normal: Recommendations for a Thriving Women's Sector

publication date: May 24, 2020
author/source: Canadian Women's Foundation representing itself and co-authors the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative, Ontario Nonprofit Network, and Kathleen Lahey with Imagine Canada

It is time to change what has been business as usual for funding the women’s sector. The pandemic offers an opportunity to rethink and redesign the role of government and funding models. This is an opportunity to reset. Without this, governments’ fiscal structures may now actually be endangering the sustainability of functioning human economies. The implications of this longer-term impact remain to be quantified, but sustainability of the biosphere that supports human life and wellbeing is thus also at risk. It is time for the federal government to shift its fiscal and budgetary policies from promoting the wellbeing of the corporate and financial sectors to prioritizing human health, security, and sustain/abilities.

  • Provide core funding to women-serving agencies and equity-seeking organizations to support continued advances in gender equity in Canada.
  • Consider the gains that have been made in policy to advance gender equity as of now and recognize that the role of government is to maintain and enhance progress made for women, by guaranteeing gender-based analysis plus in policy at all times.
  • Involve women’s sector in decision making, by always including women-serving agencies and especially equity-seeking groups in decision making at government levels. This should include advisory group roles, and compensation for organizations that recognize the expertise of the sector, especially in the postCOVID-19 rebuilding process.
  • Ensure gender-based analysis plus within data collection on the nonprofit and charitable sector that helps quantify the structural gaps in funding and support for women’s sector organizations.
  • Embed gender-based analysis plus as a requirement in transfer payments from the federal government to provinces and territories, and agreements with nonprofits and charities, including sector stabilization funds.

To get a full copy of this report, click here

Canadian Women's Foundation

Launched in 1991 to address a critical need for philanthropy focused on women, the Canadian Women's Foundation is one of the largest women's foundations in the world. With the support of donors, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million and funded over 2,000 programs across the country. These programs focus on addressing the root causes of the most critical issues and helping women and girls who face the greatest barriers.

Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN)

We are the independent network for the 58,000 nonprofits in Ontario, focused on policy, advocacy, and services to strengthen Ontario’s nonprofit sector as a key pillar of our society and economy.   We work to create a public policy environment that allows nonprofit to thrive. We engage our network of diverse nonprofit organizations across Ontario to work together on issues affecting the sector and channel the voices of our network to governments, funders, and other stakeholders.  

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates. It's Making Women Count program studies gender disparities and solutions needed to advance a more gender equal and just sociey.

Kathleen Lahey

Kathleen Lahey is Professor and Queen's National Scholar, Faculty of Law; Distinguished University Professor, Queen's University; cross-appointed Department of Gender Studies; affiliated Faculty Graduate Program in Cultural Studies, Feminist Legal Studies, Queen's.


Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada's mission is to strengthen Canadian charities and nonprofits so they can better serve individuals and communities both here and around the world. Vision is of a stronger Canada where charities work together alongside business and government to build vibrant and prosperous communities.

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