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Women leaders at the POC site in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan in January 2016.
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Girls & Women

Canada Is Now the Largest Funder of Women's Rights Organizations in the World


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Achieving Global Goal 5 on gender equality will only be possible if the world continues to see commitments like this one to organizations working on the ground. The Women Deliver conference is taking place in Vancouver from June 3-6 and Global Citizen will be there to report on issues that affect gender equality around the world. Join the movement and take action now.

Canada is committing $330 million to women’s rights organizations and gender equality in Canada and across the globe, making the country the top investor in women’s rights organizations in the world.

Maryam Monsef, minister of international development and minister for women and gender equality, announced the initiative, called the Equality Fund, on Sunday ahead of the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver.

The government said the Equality Fund is the first global platform of its kind, as it brings together the private sector, philanthropists, and governments to fund women’s organizations and movements via flexible and sustainable funding.

“This is the first time that we are seeing a collaboration of this kind to advance gender equality in Canada and around the world,” Monsef said after the announcement.

There is $300 million allocated specifically for women in the developing world, and the additional $30 million will go to the Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and Grand Challenges Canada.

Monsef also announced that the government would match donations of up to $10 million for each organization.

Grand Challenges will provide support for Indigenous women who are innovators and entrepreneurs and the Canadian Women’s Foundation will work with Indigenous women in remote and northern areas, Monsef said.

“Women’s rights are challenged the world over. With the Equality Fund and domestic partnerships announced today, Canadians are shifting the power to women’s rights organizations and supporting women pushing back against the push back,” Monsef said in a statement.

Monsef also added that the fund is meant to attract other funders. It has already raised $100 million, in addition to the government’s commitment, and the goal is for it to mobilize more than $1 billion over the next 15 years.

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Current partners include the African Women’s Development Fund, Oxfam, MATCH International Women’s Fund, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

“With women’s funds, community foundations, large philanthropic institutions, high net worth philanthropists, a leading Canadian bank, an impact fund manager, and venture capital aligned, it is unprecedented to have this diversity of willing partners working to reach the ambitious goal of generating new assets to tackle gender inequality for once and for all,” Jess Tomlin, president and CEO of the MATCH Fund and Equality Fund co-founder, said in a statement.

The Women Deliver conference is taking place in Vancouver from June 3-6, and brings together more than 8,000 people, including journalists, activists, governments, and more from over 165 countries.