Partnership to fund gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Canada and abroad
Canada is a global champion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, both at home and abroad.
On May 25, 2018, Canada issued a call to action to establish a first of its kind partnership to mobilize unprecedented levels of resources to create a sustainable and predictable source of funding for women’s organizations and movements in developing countries.
Canada committed up to $300 million to help establish this partnership, which will bring together the philanthropic community, the investing community, the private sector and civil society into a single platform to leverage more than $1 billion in assets working for gender equality.
On June 2, 2019, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that Canada will work with the Equality Fund members to set up the partnership:
- Canada and partners announce new legacy investments to support women’s rights and gender equality at home and abroad
- Backgrounder – The Equality Fund: Transforming the way we support women’s organizations and movements working to advance women’s rights and gender equality
Find out more about the Government of Canada’s work with the Equality Fund to establish this new partnership with our Frequently Asked Questions.
About the Equality Fund
The Equality Fund is a consortium of Canadian and international organizations deeply rooted in and connected to women’s organizations and movements, and with expertise in international development, investment and philanthropy.
The Equality Fund aims to contribute to solving the funding gap faced by women’s organizations and movements that work to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries by providing them with predictable and flexible funding, along with technical assistance. The Equality Fund will be the first of its kind both in scale and in its objectives: to create a long-term and self-sustaining source of funding for women’s organizations and movements in developing countries; to bring the spectrum of grants, investments and impact investments together under one roof in support of gender equality; to shift how investment decisions are made by mainstreaming gender equality; and to achieve gender equality outcomes through gender lens impact investing and by reflowing revenues to grants to support women’s organizations.
The Equality Fund members include:
- The MATCH International Women’s Fund (Equality Fund)
- African Women’s Development Fund
- Toronto Foundation
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights
- Canadian Women’s Foundation
- Community Foundations of Canada
- Calvert Impact Capital
- World University Service of Canada
- Oxfam Canada
- Yaletown Partners
External Advisory Committee for the Partnership for Gender Equality
Global Affairs Canada has established an External Advisory Committee comprising a small number of individuals from civil society, the philanthropic community and the private sector to provide advice to the department on the process to establish the Partnership for Gender Equality. These individuals possess a range of expertise relevant to the initiative. Although the final decision on the institutional arrangement that will underpin the partnership rests with the government, the Committee has been formed to provide valuable advice on, for example, process steps, requirements, assessment tools and outreach. The following individuals are members of the Committee:
- Joy Anderson, Criterion Institute
- Sophie de Caen, Pathy Family Foundation
- Lise Martin, Women’s Shelters Canada
- Ryan McMaster, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Nicolas Moyer, Canadian Council for International Co-operation
- Khalil Shariff, Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Global Affairs Canada is very thankful to the members of the committee for their time and support throughout this process.
Additional reference documents
- Background information on the Partnership for Gender Equality
- Nobel Women’s Initiative & MATCH International Women’s Fund, Shifting the Power: Opportunities for innovative partnerships for women’s movement – Event Report (January 25-26, 2018)
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Private Philanthropy for Development (March 23, 2018)
- Strengthening Women’s Rights Organizations Through International Assistance (.pdf)
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