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2020-2021 Global Affiars Canada departmental progress report for Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Table of contents

Definitions

Target: What Canada aims to accomplish by the end of the lifespan of the Action Plan OR by the proposed target date.

Baseline: A “baseline” is a clearly defined starting point identified for comparative purposes.  A baseline can be described in a quantitative or qualitative manner.

Activity: The actions Canada will undertake to advance from the baseline to the target.

Indicator: The quantitative or qualitative marker used to gauge how well Canada is moving from the baseline to the target.

Objectives: The five main objectives of Canada’s National Action Plan represent the outcome level in the Action Plan’s theory of change. Progress in achieving a specific target contribute to advancing one of these objectives. We have assigned targets – which are generally at the action or immediate outcome level in the theory of change, to objectives to facilitate the measuring and presentation of results at the aggregate, outcome level.

Internal capacity and efficiency: The Internal capacity and efficiency category was added to collect targets that include activities aiming at improving our own capacity to implement the Action Plan, such as mandating GBA Plus training or creating gender advisor positions.

Abbreviations

ACCBP
Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program
CFLI
Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
CSO
Civil society organizations
CT
Counter-terrorism
CTCBP
Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program
CVE
Counter-violent extremism
DRC
Democratic Republic of Congo
FARC
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
FY
Fiscal year
GBA Plus
Gender-based Analysis Plus
GBV
Gender-based violence
GE
Gender Equality
ICRC
International Committee of the Red Cross
IGAD
Intergovernmental Authority on Development
IOF
International Organisation of La Francophonie
LGBTQ2I
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
NAP
National Action Plan
NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NGO
Non-governmental organization
OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OSCE
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
P/CVE
Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism
PSOPs
Peace and Stabilization Operations Program
SEA
Sexual exploitation and abuse
SGBV
Sexual and gender-based violence
SRHR
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
UNGA
United Nations General Assembly
UNSCR
United Nations Security Council Resolution
VAW
Violence against women
WMD
Weapons of mass destruction
WTRP
Weapons Threat Reduction Program
WPS
Women, Peace and Security

Executive summary

Global Affairs Canada’s implementation plan for the Government of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) includes 98 targets across development assistance, humanitarian action and peace and stabilization efforts.

The targets in the implementation plan are set for a selection of countries and programs to focus our efforts and facilitate progress measurement. Global Affairs Canada recognizes that implementation of the WPS agenda is a cross-cutting effort, and strives to integrate the agenda into all relevant lines of effort. This report is therefore not an exhaustive overview of all departmental efforts to implement the WPS agenda, but rather provides a snapshot of this work to provide transparency and identify successes, progress, challenges, and areas for improvement. 

This report covers the period of 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Every target is assigned a rating based on progress achieved to date, provides details on completed activities, and analyzes results. Changes were made to the GAC implementation plan in FY 2018/19 to ensure that targets, activities, and indicators better capture progress, clarify language, reduce redundancies, and become more ambitious.

Each target has been assigned a ratingFootnote 1 as follows:

0 - Too Early to Report

1 - Attention Required

2 - Mostly on Track

3 - On Track

4 - Target Achieved or Surpassed

In total, 30 targets contribute to achieving Objective 1: Increase the meaningful participation of women, women’s organizations and networks in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict statebuilding. This objective includes targets on supporting greater representation of women in institutions and mechanisms responsible for conflict prevention and resolution, as well as supporting gender mainstreaming efforts of these institutions; providing support to women’s organizations for advancing gender equality, including on preventing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); as well as all targets related to advocacy on WPS. Of the targets contributing to this objective, 20% have been achieved or surpassed (6), 40% are on track (12), and 40% (12) are mostly on track.

Nine targets contribute to Objective 2: Prevent, respond to and end impunity for SGBV perpetrated in conflict and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by peacekeepers and other international personnel, including humanitarian and development staff. This objective includes targets such as building the capacity of health institutions to address SGBV cases; enhancing the knowledge and exercise of women’s and girls’ human rights, including those related to SGBV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); as well as enhancing the use of justice support services, particularly in cases related to SGBV. Of the nine targets contributing to this objective, 78% are rated as on track (7), and 22% are rated as mostly on track (2).

In total, 31 targets contribute to Objective 3: Promote and protect women’s and girls’ human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected settings. This objective includes targets on gender mainstreaming in counter-terrorism and international anti-crime policy and advocacy; integration of gender issues into diplomacy on disarmament; women’s political, social and economic empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected states; gender-sensitive criminal investigations; women’s access to justice and legal representation; as well as girls’ access to education. Of these targets, 65% are on track (12) or have been achieved or surpassed (8), while 29% (9) targets have been rated as mostly on track. One of the targets (3%) is too early to report on and one requires attention (3%).

Two targets contribute to Objective 4: Meet the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian settings, including the upholding of their sexual and reproductive rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services; both targets continue to be rated as on track.

A total of four targets contribute to the Action Plan’s final objective, Objective 5: Strengthen the capacity of peace operations to advance the WPS agenda.  The rating remains the same as last year; three of the targets are rated as on track, and one target has been achieved or surpassed.

Beyond the targets assigned to meet the five objectives of the Action Plan, the GAC implementation plan also measures internal capacity and efficiency, as success in this area is critical to ensuring that WPS principles are advanced in all of the department’s work. The GAC implementation plan has 22 dedicated targets to improve internal capacity and efficiency, which supports the achievement of the five objectives without contributing to them directly. Of these targets, 90% are on track (13) or have been achieved or surpassed (5), one is mostly on track (5%) and one requires attention (5%).

Overall, the report demonstrates that significant efforts have been made towards the implementation and reporting of Action Plan targets. Targets that are “too early to report on” have decreased from 14 in FY 2017/18 to 1 in FY 2020/21, demonstrating that increased efforts have been made across the department to collect the necessary data to produce this report. 42 targets have consistently remained “on track” since FY 18/29. Furthermore, the number of targets that have been achieved or surpassed has steadily increased from 5 in FY 2017/18, 14 in FY 2018/19, 20 in FY 2019/20, to 23 in FY 2020/21.

Thematic programs

1. Global Issues and Development Branch

Context: Through the Global Issues and Development Branch, Global Affairs Canada engages with multilateral and international organizations to advance Canadian development and humanitarian priorities. These partners have the capacity, expertise, and mandate to address global challenges, achieve sustainable development results, including in fragile and conflict-affected states, and respond effectively in humanitarian crises. Initiatives supported by this program help Canada shape international assistance policy, promote an effective and efficient multilateral development and humanitarian system, and address global issues – including Gender Equality (GE) and the empowerment of women and girls; environment, climate action and water; peace and security; human rights, governance, democracy and inclusion; health, education and nutrition; and inclusive and green economic growth.

Canada’s humanitarian assistance aims to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity for people affected by humanitarian crises. This includes providing financial support to experienced humanitarian partners responding to these crises, such as United Nations agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement and non-governmental organizations, founded on the humanitarian principles of human dignity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. It also includes engagement with humanitarian organizations and networks to support and strengthen the capacity of the humanitarian system. Canada’s increasing support to experienced humanitarian partners in SRHR in emergencies, is helping to address gender-based gaps in access to reproductive health services; to integrate comprehensive GBV response and treatment in reproductive health; and provide safe spaces for women and girls.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and GE into Canada’s conflict prevention, relief and recovery efforts

1.1 Target: The capacity, skills, knowledge and resources for GE, primarily among Global Affairs Canada officers, are increased. 

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

In FY 2020/21, a total of 495 Global Affairs Canada (GAC) staff participated in gender equality (GE) courses delivered by GE specialists, a significant increase since FY 2015-16, when 135 GAC staff participated. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GE specialists have shifted in-person training sessions to virtual training sessions. This included sessions on Programming for GE Results in GAC’s COVID-19 Response, GE coding, Feminist Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and the feminist approach to unpaid and paid care work. In addition, the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) team and implementing partner co-facilitators successfully organized learning events for all regional learning clusters, which included national women’s rights organizations (WROs), LBTQI+ leaders, implementing partners and GAC staff. These learning sessions have highlighted the need for an online GE course, which is now being developed.

In our COVID-19 pandemic response, GE Specialists worked with program staff to rapidly build the capacity of our implementing partners. This involved highlighting the importance of addressing GE in their COVID-19 proposals, which is often disregarded in rapid and crisis contexts. As a result of this concerted effort, almost 100% of COVID-19 projects assessed by the GE Specialist Teams were at least partially GE-integrated, and 60% were fully GE-integrated or GE-specific.

To further support this capacity building process, the Gender Equality Division worked in collaboration with the Global Health Bureau to set up a Gender Equality Assessment Framework and a Gender Equality Guide for COVID-19 Related Projects to ensure that our feminist approach to the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces Canada’s commitment to supporting women’s leadership in times of crisis. These proactive efforts and ongoing support from GE specialists aimed to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls was at the center of the Department’s response to the global pandemic, and that GAC continued to meet its GE targets under the Feminist International Assistance Policy.

1.2 Target: 80% of global humanitarian assistance funding integrate GEFootnote 2 by 2021* to better meet the needs of women and girls in humanitarian settings.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

In FY 2020/21, Canada continued to integrate gender equality considerations into its humanitarian efforts to address the unmet needs and priorities of women and girls.  97% of Canada’s humanitarian assistance projects integrated gender equality considerations, with only those focused on logistics not doing so. This surpasses the target of 80% by 2021 and builds upon the 2019-2020 achievement of 96.2%.

Canada also conducted an internal Gender Equality Institutional Assessment for its humanitarian contributions to multilateral partners. The assessments aim to track multilateral partners’ institutional progress on the implementation of their gender policies on a yearly basis at a corporate and operational level for humanitarian initiatives. By tracking this progress, Canada ensures its assessment of gender equality coding for UN partners remains relevant and up to date as it considers its annual core support to these organizations. These assessments have also been helpful in prioritizing advocacy efforts to advance gender-responsive humanitarian action with multilateral partners.

Canada was also active in supporting the integration of gender equality into broader system-wide humanitarian action.  Canada was a member of the steering committee of the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls.  This was the first thematic evaluation of its kind commissioned by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which makes concrete recommendations to shift the UN humanitarian system to be more gender responsive. Canada has championed the findings of this evaluation by, for example, hosting a donor briefing and events to socialize the findings. Canada has also advocated for the importance of the findings of the evaluation when engaging with UN Executive Boards in order to promote a more gender-responsive and accountable system.

In 2020, Canada’s Humanitarian Assistance Program supported a diverse array of partners who contributed to a stronger, more gender-responsive and more accountable humanitarian sector. For instance, in 2020, Canada provided $150,000 in support to The New Humanitarian (TNH) whose mission is to put independent quality journalism at the service of the world’s most vulnerable people. Thanks to this funding, TNH continued to report on longstanding gender issues in crises and humanitarian contexts, as well as using their analysis to hold those responsible for the violation of the human rights of women and girls accountable. This includes, for example, TNH’s groundbreaking investigative reporting on sexual exploitation and abuse by international humanitarian aid workers in the DRC Ebola response in 2018.

Canada in partnership with the Women’s Refugee Commission, worked to influence the humanitarian system through, for example, the development of a White Paper, Gender-Transformative Change in Humanitarianism: a View from the Inside.  This research was used to foster dialogue and build capacity on feminist humanitarian assistance and means to achieve more inclusive and gender-transformative humanitarian outcomes.

Challenge:

Canada surpassed its target of 80% of funding integrating gender equality considerations by the end of 2021. However, there remain challenges related to the collection and assessment of gender equality data for the system writ large. There is no standardized way to collect relevant data and measure gender transformative change throughout the humanitarian system.

As well, the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation (IAHE) on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls (GEEWG) found that the humanitarian system lacks necessary capacity on gender equality to improve performance and country-level leadership, and that accountability on gender remains inconsistent.

Priorities: Realize women's and girls' human rights, particularly on preventing and responding to sexual and GBV in humanitarian settings

1.3 Target: Advocacy by Canada on preventing and responding to SGBV in emergencies is increased.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 4

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Being the lead of the Call to Action in 2019-2020 enabled Canada to have increased influence on collective efforts to mitigate, prevent and respond to gender-based violence in emergencies and to elevate this issue in multilateral fora. In 2020, Canada led the development of a 2021-2025 strategic Road Map that strengthened the Call to Action’s focus on gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, intersectionality, sexual and reproductive health services, localization and accountability. Under Canada’s leadership, partners reaffirmed their commitment to the Call to Action and made ambitious commitments against the updated Road Map. Towards this, Canada’s Minister of International Development sent letters to heads of UN partner organizations to the Call to Action, urging bold and ambitious commitments.

The launch of the 2021-2025 Call to Action Road Map, held on the margins on the 2020 UN General Assembly, was a key advocacy effort to raise the profile of SGBV in humanitarian response. Representatives from states, international organizations and NGOs shared ideas and commitments to ensure that every humanitarian effort includes the policies, systems and mechanisms to prevent, mitigate and respond to GBV in emergencies by 2025.

Canada hosted the Call to Action Annual Partners Meeting on June 17-19, 2020. More than 190 representatives of international organizations, NGOs and states focused on how best to address GBV in emergencies through collective advocacy; resource mobilization; and strategizing on the next iteration of the Call to Action Road Map.

Canada spearheaded a joint statement on behalf of the Call to Action’s 87 partners, including to advocate for the recognition of GBV services as life-saving and essential in all humanitarian responses to the pandemic. Canada galvanized support and issued a statement GBV & COVID-19 on behalf of all members,  drawing attention to GBV and relevant considerations in its humanitarian response.

Canada, alongside other donors, used a variety of platforms (including bilateral Ministerial meetings, virtual Executive Boards, and the OCHA Donor Support Group Technical Session on Gender) to advocate for all partners to ensure that humanitarian programming mitigates GBV and is prioritized as part of humanitarian response efforts, particularly with partner organizations who receive un-earmarked contributions.

With funding from Canada, the Women’s Refugee Commission developed the guiding document ‘Strengthening Field Implementation: a Strategy for Call to Action Partners.’ This strategy outlines objectives to strengthen the uptake of the GBV Accountability Framework, raise awareness of the initiative at the country and regional levels, and deepen partnerships with local actors, particularly women’s organizations. It offers an array of actions through which partners, individually and collectively, can have an impact to prevent, mitigate and respond to GBV. 

Also with funding from Canada, the Women’s Refugee Commission developed a guidance note for Call to Action partners on advocacy for the integration of gender equality considerations and GBV prevention, mitigation and response in Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNOs), Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) and Periodic Monitoring Reports (PMRs). The guidance note is a tool for partners to advocate for humanitarian response that is accountable to women and girls.

Challenge:

In 2020, several of Canada’s planned in-person advocacy opportunities were upended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Call to Action Annual Partners’ Meeting in June 2020, and the launch of the Call to Action 2021-2025 Road Map on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2021. In particular, Canada adapted to host the annual partners’ meetings online, which required the 3-day meeting to be condensed. This presented challenges for the meetings’ substance and results, given reduced time for collaboration on complex issues. The COVID-19 pandemic also affected staff capacity to participate in non-core advocacy opportunities.

Priorities: Reduce gender inequalities in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development

1.4 Target: Canada demonstrates increased leadership on advancing SRHR in fragile and humanitarian settings.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 4

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada continued to demonstrate leadership on advancing SRHR in fragile and humanitarian settings in FY 2020/21. This includes through $41.7 M in support to humanitarian partners towards sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in crisis. This support helped to prevent death, disease and disability related to unwanted pregnancies, obstetric complications and reproductive disorders, and gender-based violence.

FY 2019/20 marked the end of a three-year commitment to distribute $650 million to the empowerment of women and girls and gender equality, improve their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This resulted in a drop in annual funding for SRHR.

Through Canada’s funding to IPAS in 2020, 10,494 contraception services were provided to women and girls across Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This included oral contraceptives, implants, and intrauterine device to support their sexual and reproductive health needs.

Canada recognized that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic included significant and tragic increases in gender-based violence and a potential decrease in access to critical SRHR services globally. Through its support to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2020, Canadian funding ensured the availability of essential, lifesaving services in SRH and GBV for the women, girls, and vulnerable populations throughout the Middle East region. With the help of Canada’s support in Syria, the UNFPA supported the provision of integrated SRH services through an overall total of 199 health facilities, 24 mobile clinics, 76 mobile teams, 96 static clinics, two hospitals, and one mental health facility located across the country. In Jordan, Canadian funding helped the organization reach 131,336 beneficiaries with SRH services, including antenatal care, safe deliveries, counselling and psychosocial support. With the knowledge that the impact of the pandemic included significant and tragic increases in gender-based violence, Canada also supported the UNFPA in providing safe, confidential and non-stigmatizing GBV response and prevention services to 58,386 beneficiaries.

As another example of Canada’s support for advancing SRHR in conflict settings, Canada provided $4.5M in support to the International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) special appeal on the prevention and reduction of sexual violence in armed conflict situations in 2020. The project focused on strengthening the ICRC’s response to sexual violence through improving the delivery of services and staff capacity related to sexual violence response in 14 countries. Through this multi-donor initiative, the ICRC has taken a multidisciplinary approach to address sexual violence at multiple stages of its occurrence, through a combination of programs and activities including engagement with high level actors, legal frameworks, and direct service provision. Through this support, the ICRC has been able to provide and facilitate access to primary health care and medical services to treat survivors of sexual violence, including reproductive health and other essential sexual health services.

Canada also provided $2.6M to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s emergency medical humanitarian response for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar in 2020. This funding supported MSF’s provision of sexual and reproductive health services at nine healthcare facilities servicing both refugee and host populations. With funding from Canada, MSF delivered antenatal, postnatal and family planning services to pregnant and lactating people; comprehensive medical and psychosocial care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV); and outreach sessions—with the help of community health workers and traditional birth attendants—to sensitize households to the availability of SRH services near them.

Challenge:

Canada continued to advocate for strong language on SRHR through its negotiation of the key humanitarian resolutions at ECOSOC and UNGA in 2020. However, Canada and like-minded on this issue faced increased opposition and worked hard to prevent backslide on previously agreed language in these resolutions.

2. Peace and Stabilization Operations Program Bureau (PSOPs)

Context: Canada is taking concrete actions to prevent and respond to conflicts abroad and to support UN peace operations in building a more peaceful and prosperous world. In 2018, Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) became a permanent program within Global Affairs Canada (GAC).  This is an important step forward in how the Government of Canada is equipped and structured to prevent conflict and respond to global peace and stability challenges. PSOPs is the Government of Canada’s principal platform for conflict prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding. It engages in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS) leveraging resources of, and partnerships with, multilateral institutions, NGOs, implementing partners, and like-minded nations. PSOPs contributes to improved peace, security, and stability for all people in FCAS. Its policy, operations, and programming are guided by GBA Plus and gender equality principles to ensure gender-responsive interventions and inclusive access to justice, social services, economic opportunity, political power and good governance. PSOPs also coordinates the implementation of Canada's NAP on WPS. It actively promotes the role of women in conflict resolution, prevention and post-conflict state building, and contributes to the prevention of and accountability for sex and gender-based violence (SGBV) and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).

Priorities: Increase funding for the implementation of the WPS agenda

2.1 Target:

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target Achieved or Surpassed – 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4 / Objective 3

Baseline:

In FY 2017/18, PSOPs produced the following results:

In FY 2018/19, PSOPs produced the following results:

Activity:
IndicatorFootnote 4:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

In order to advance targets relating to the percentage of GE coded projects and percentage of programming disbursements, a number of actions have been adopted within PSOPs that are having a positive impact:

PSOPs direct support to local and regional women’s organizations:

PSOPs indirect support to regional and local women’s organizations:

Challenges:

Proportion of funding per GE code
Text version
Amount2016/20172017/20182018/20192019/20202020/2021
GE-08,693,161.818,004,190.323,102,234.295,135,406.001,051,373.00
GE-1146,209,337.99180,391,816.2375,176,451.9664,771,142.1937,759,051.57
GE-237,569,690.4646,250,983.3747,433,739.6276,756,313.9576,337,403.10
GE-39,651,448.6718,214,001.8935,915,693.5019,136,532.2121,018,597.47
Project2016/20172017/20182018/20192019/20202020/2021
GE-01313732
GE-14043494127
GE-22748565457
GE-31323293129
Proportion of projects per GE code
Text version
Amount2016/20172017/20182018/20192019/20202020/2021
GE-04.30%3.17%1.92%3.10%0.77%
GE-172.34%71.34%46.51%39.07%27.73%
GE-218.59%18.29%29.35%46.29%56.06%
GE-34.78%7.20%22.22%11.54%15.44%
Project2016/20172017/20182018/20192019/20202020/2021
GE-013.98%10.24%4.96%2.33%1.74%
GE-143.01%33.86%34.75%31.78%23.48%
GE-229.03%37.80%39.72%41.86%49.57%
GE-313.98%18.11%20.57%24.03%25.22%

Priorities: Report on the implementation of the Action Plan

2.2 Target: Annual progress reports on implementation of the Action Plan are aimed to be tabled in Parliament every September.  In addition, an independent mid-term review and summative evaluation is conducted six (6) months after the end of the report in collaboration with civil society.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Attention required/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

The fourth annual reporting cycle was launched in late spring 2021, shortly after the tabling of the 2019-2020 report.  Coordination of the whole-of-government reporting process for the Action Plan conducted by PSOPs proceeded efficiently, with changes made to the tasking package and process to respond to the survey sent to all reporting focal points. PSOPs continued to build upon best practices from previous years. The reporting template and tasking package were updated to improve quality control and communication between the focal points and the GAC coordinator.

The difficulties faced in the previous year’s reporting cycle, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, were addressed as working from home became normalized. Extra training sessions were offered compared to the previous year, and recordings were made available to all focal points for later reference. One-on-one appointments were offered where needed.  The training sessions and appointments covered both best practices on Action Plan reporting for the Government of Canada, and the importance and challenges of reporting results on the implementation of the WPS agenda. These training sessions were well received by government focal points; those who participated reported enhanced capacity to integrate lessons learned into their reporting and report on challenges in greater detail.

Efforts to undertake a mid-term review continued during the FY 2020/21, including through the establishment of a committee comprised of Government implementing departments and civil society, which defined the scope and focus of the midterm review. Due to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mid-term review process was delayed until the summer of 2021.The commitment to table progress reports in September has proved challenging to meet, even without the impacts of external factors such as the last two federal elections or the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several reasons for these delays, one being that the target doesn’t align well with other reporting cycles, such as development assistance programming at GAC; another is that the required time for approval processes, which differs between Action Plan partners, was under-estimated. PSOPs, as the coordinator of the Action Plan and owner of this target, will continue to strive for timely tabling. Based on the recommendations in the mid-term review, it will also consider how the reporting process can be more efficient to enable timely tabling.

2.3 Target: Tracking and reporting on Global Affairs Canada’s WPS-related funding is consistent and lends itself to year-over-year comparison by 2018/19.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

PSOPs tracked WPS spending uniformly, efficiently and consistently throughout the fiscal year and included results in its annual report by applying the WPS tracker methodology. The methodology extracts information from the departmental database by applying a formula that combines GE codes, purpose codes created by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and a list of selected fragile and conflict-affected states. GAC’s Gender Equality coding framework assigns a GE code in relation to a project’s intended contribution to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The sub-themes of the WPS agenda are captured by the select OECD purpose codes. By using the same methodology as in FY 2017/18, reporting on funding is consistent from year to year.

While helpful in measuring GAC’s WPS funding, the methodology has presented some limitations, notably that it does not report on what types of organizations receive funding.

Recognizing the urgent need to increase funding for women’s rights organizations, and the importance of data to measure progress in this regard, a target to this effect was added in 2019 (see target 2.1.4). However, the methodology for target 2.1.4 leaves out important investments made to women’s rights organizations through multilateral organizations unless the entirety of the investment meets the GE02 or GE03 threshold.

To address the lack of data on PSOPs funding of women’s rights organizations, discussions took place during FY 2020/21 with other teams in GAC on the relatively new GAC-wide tracking of funding to women’s organizations. Challenges with using existing mechanisms were discussed and areas for improvement have been identified and will be addressed as various reporting tools are updated in the department. For now, PSOPs will use a narrative form of reporting against target 2.1.4.

A methodology for tracking WPS-spending by other Action Plan federal implementing partners has not been developed.

2.4 Target: Robust, coherent, and clearly measureable indicators are established and used by 2018/19

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target Achieved or Surpassed/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Enhanced clarity and consistency in reporting methodology has been attained in some targets by defining their indicators with greater details, allowing for clearer annual reporting data. Further efforts to improve upon the indicators and targets may be beneficial. However, this needs to be balanced against the requirement to demonstrate results year over year.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into PSOPs standard policies and procedures

2.5 Target: By the end of FY 2021/22, all policies, strategies, and processes systematically integrate gender perspectives.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

The grants and contributions business process continues to systematically integrate gender equality considerations. For example:

The PSOPs Program Monitor met with women's organizations in both Haiti and Ukraine. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, the Program Monitor was unable to travel to Ukraine and conducted his interviews virtually. For the upcoming case study of PSOPs engagement in Colombia, the Monitor will continue virtual engagement with women`s organizations and other local stakeholders.

PSOPs’ analytical tools, products, and processes integrate GBA Plus and the WPS agenda to mainstream gender considerations in fragile and conflict-affected settings and identify specific Canadian entry points for the WPS agenda. The PSOPs-led conflict sensitivity guidance and training expands the mainstreaming of gender considerations across GAC and emphasizes the need for gender-sensitive conflict analysis. PSOPs also undertook facilitation training to promote the use and integration of GBA Plus into PSOPs’ business process.

Pre-deployment training delivered by PSOPs on Fragility, Conflict and Violence to outgoing Heads of Mission and Program Managers included WPS and GE components; in-depth training delivered to Heads of Mission and Program Managers included a dedicated WPS/GE session.

2.6 Target: PSOPs will systematically consider the WPS agenda and gender and intersecting identity factors in its policy work, in its contributions to the planning for civilian, police and military deployments, and during its assessment and scoping missions to ensure that PSOPs’ interventions are gender-responsive and integrate and promote the WPS agenda.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:

UN Peacebuilding Commission:

Focal Points Network:

The Canadian Police Arrangement:

Elsie Initiative:

ASEAN Regional Forum:

Results and Progress:

In a survey of PSOPs officers, 37 out of the 39 (or 95%) officers participating responded that they applied GBA Plus analysis in their work. This sample represents a little over 50% of PSOPs officers.

PSOPs continues to incorporate GBA Plus and the WPS agenda into its conflict analyses, highlighting the WPS agenda and making specific references to the Action Plan. Gender considerations featured prominently in analytical products to ensure gender-responsive Canadian interventions, as well as opportunities for Canada to play a role in increasing the participation of women and youth in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. PSOPs continues to work on developing a roster of vetted GBA Plus and WPS-aligned partners and stakeholders with whom to engage.

Peacebuilding Commission:

The informal phase of the 2020 UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review (PBAR), facilitated by Canada as PBC Chair, included a virtual consultation on WPS as one of four consultation areas. One of the outcomes of the meeting was a chair`s summary, which contributed recommendations on the participation of women in peacebuilding. A negotiated outcome document on the informal phase of the review was transmitted to the UN Secretary-General as well as the presidents of the Security Council and General Assembly. Canada’s ambassador to the UN made a video statement to set the framing for the consultation, and Canada provided a written submission. 

Canada’s statements and submissions to the other PBAR consultations (UN transitions, Financing and Partnerships, and Institution Building and System-wide Engagement) all mainstreamed aspects of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda.

Over the course of the pandemic, Canada also leveraged its co-chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) to convene trilateral dialogues on the COVID-19 situation in fragile and conflict-affected states between development partners, national governments, and local civil society organizations. These discussions took place under the framework of the IDPS 2019-2021 Peace Vision, through which the IDPS membership have agreed to prioritize the promotion of national cohesion; gender equality and the women, peace and security agenda; and a peace-promoting private sector.

Canada’s co-chair with Uruguay of the Women Peace and Security (WPS) Focal Points Network:

Canada’s co-chair with Uruguay in 2020-21 of the Women Peace and Security (WPS) Focal Points Network leveraged the opportunity to mark the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 to encourage more open and honest conversations and increased collaboration between the Focal Points and civil society actors on the challenges and opportunities for fully implementing the WPS agenda into peace and security policy and programming.  Canada co-hosted five online Network events in 2020 on the co-chairs’ main theme of “demonstrating leadership and taking concrete action to advance the WPS Agenda” with an emphasis on “supporting and protecting women peacebuilders” and “creating and implementing impact-driven WPS action plans”.

The COVID-19 pandemic public health restrictions in March 2020 resulted in the cancellation of a two-day in person meeting of the WPS Focal Points Network scheduled for May 2020 in Ottawa. Plans for a two-day meeting was replaced with a series of five virtual/online events over the course of 2020:

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic outbreak during Canada and Uruguay’s co-leadership of the Network, the pivot to hosting virtual meetings resulted in increased opportunities for the national WPS Focal Points to meet more easily and frequently. The virtual format also supported greater civil society and academic participation in Network meetings.

Lessons were learned on how to plan and manage virtual meetings of the Network, including with interpretation in English, Spanish, French and American Sign Language, and using multiple virtual break out rooms.  However, while virtual meetings have positive aspects, in person meetings remain important to forge connections and build trust between the WPS Focal Points, and with civil society partners, that are important to ongoing cooperation and progress on the WPS agenda.

It was a challenge to both identify and confirm new speakers from different geographic regions and diverse and intersectional perspectives, and well as ensuring discussions were intergenerational.  Overall, the WPS unit, and the WPS Focal Point Network, now has a stronger list of diverse speakers on WPS as well as experience in adding to that list for future events.

Canada’s application of a GBA Plus approach as co-chair of the WPS Focal Points Network with Uruguay in 2020-21 helped to increase diversity and support for a more inclusive WPS agenda in the Network discussions.  This helped to strengthen the Network’s role as the main international forum for collaboration on implementing WPS agenda between Member States and other key WPS stakeholders in academia and civil society.  As a benchmark of this progress, Network included 89 Member States as of March 31, 2021: an increase from 72 in January 2020.

PSOPs provided funding to the Women Peace and Security Network – Canada (WPSN-C) to convene special meetings of Canadian and international WPS civil society actors in August 2020 and to create a set of recommendations to the WPS Focal Points Network for the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325.  These recommendations were delivered to the WPS Focal Points Network in a report “Priorities for Action” that was launched in a public, virtual meeting hosted by the WPSN-C on October 2, 2020.

The Canadian Police Arrangement:

Over the course of 2020-21, the COVID-19 pandemic added pressure on both the deployment and recruitment of police officers into the CPA program. Through a gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) lens, the CPA took various approaches to increasing deployment numbers in spite of the challenges associated with the pandemic, including, for example, by developing specialized police teams that promote Canada’s thematic priorities, such as the WPS agenda and combatting sex and gender based violence and conflict related sexual violence. In relation to the above, the CPA successfully inaugurated a new Specialized Police Team (SPT) to the DRC under the auspices of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO). Led by Canada, this 8 person SPT (5 Canadians, 2 Swedes, and 2 Tanzanians) is building the capacity of the Congolese National Police to counter sexual and gender-based violence among vulnerable populations.

The CPA contributed investigative expertise in support The Gambia’s case entitled Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).  In total, the CPA conducted 28 trauma-informed, gender-sensitive interviews with alleged survivors and witnesses of most serious crimes of concern to the international community, including the crime of genocide. In all of its missions, the CPA applied GBA Plus in assisting local police organizations to better understand the differentiated impacts of conflict on women, and to better incorporate women’s perspectives in investigations, stabilization and peacebuilding efforts. Additionally, the CPA consistently worked to remove barriers in order to allow for increased participation of Canadian women police officers in the program, particularly in senior leadership roles, which aligned with the priorities of Canada’s flagship Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations.

Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations:

During 2020-21, the Elsie Initiative continued to apply GBA Plus and advance gender and WPS in policy development and positions. For example, the Elsie Initiative supported efforts to integrate gender and WPS considerations during the negotiations of the 2021 Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) report, leading to an increase in the number of gender-responsive recommendations in comparison to the 2020 report (increase from 8% to 9% of recommendations) and securing the first ever recommendation related to addressing the issue of sexual harassment within peacekeeping missions, which has been identified as one of the most significant barriers to women’s meaningful participation in UN missions. Similarly, the Elsie Initiative was able to support Canada’s Permanent Mission to ASEAN to secure a reference to promoting women’s empowerment in peace and security processes and integrating WPS into peacekeeping operations as an area for cooperation among ARF members in the Hanoi Plan of Action II (2020-25). The Elsie Initiative team further provides comments on mission mandate reviews with an intersectional lens, ensuring they are gender-responsive and consider intersecting identity factors, while also producing a guidance note to support lead officers. Finally, when selecting participants to attend and/or receive support to attend Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations events, Canada takes into account intersecting identity factors, including geographic and racial identities to ensure that a diversity of voices is represented.

As one of the co-chairs of the United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial (UNPKM) process, Canada worked closely with the organizers to ensure that WPS, and in particular the meaningful participation of women in peace operations, would form an integral part of discussions and outcomes of the next UNPKM, scheduled to take place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in December, 2021.  As part of these efforts, in November 2020, Canada co-hosted with Bangladesh and the United Kingdom the first preparatory session for the UNPKM 2021, during which it organized and chaired a session specifically dedicated to WPS in peacekeeping transition contexts. This session helped cement the importance of ensuring the meaningful participation of women, including uniformed women, in all stages of transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, from planning to implementation.

Priorities: Strengthen WPS and gender capacity within PSOPs

2.7 Target: By the end of FY 2021/22, PSOPs significantly strengthens its gender expertise.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

With a regular turnover in staff, the number and percentage of PSOPs deployees and staff who have completed online introductory GBA Plus training year over year can fluctuate. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of staff have completed at least one course on gender: 77.1% of those who reported (37/48Footnote 5), and deployees: 100% (7/7 total, with response rate of 100%.

A challenge for PSOPs training was that only one of the three in-house gender courses that was relevant to PSOPs officers, (and available the prior year) was offered in 2020-21. However, efforts were set in motion to address lingering gaps in WPS training in the bureau, including by targeting specific, stand-alone training. WPS was also integrated more substantively into existing pre-posting and onboarding training. This increase has allowed PSOPs to train influential strategically salient groups (especially Heads of Mission) in greater numbers overall and to engage with new colleagues about the gendered nature of peace and security work and the specific challenges and opportunities involved. Training efforts during this period were further complemented by increased dialogue and training on anti-racism, diversity and inclusion.

PSOPs invested resources in preparing conflict-sensitivity and nexus training, both stressing the importance of taking a context-driven approach. Conflict sensitivity training developed for geographic programs was designed with clear emphasis on the need to ensure robust conflict analyses, while unpacking the gender and conflict dynamics. The training covers in detail the tools to support bureaus in considering the potential unintended risks and opportunities associated with our interventions. This includes risks related to potential harm to beneficiaries, including women, girls and other vulnerable groups, as well as opportunities to strengthen inclusion, including in relation to strengthening the capacity of women to engage in peacebuilding.

Challenges:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic training was converted to an online environment as a result some training was revised or put on hold. The increased strain on training resources associated with hosting online sessions limited the pace of progress on developing new training. Another challenge was the tracking of training rates over time with low response rates to surveys and the frequent rotation of staff.

2.8 Target: By the end of FY 2021/22, all thematic training on working in fragile and conflict-affected states systematically integrates gender perspectives.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

The entire suite of FCAS-related training offered by Global Affairs Canada covers and builds skills in one or more of the following: GBA Plus; raising awareness of Canada’s feminist foreign and international assistance policies; and improving people’s understanding of Canada’s National Action Plan on WPS. Results of needs analyses offered a clearer picture of key learning gaps enabling better planning to address those gaps.

Challenges:

The pandemic slowed course delivery and progress on course updates in 2020/21. The challenge remains to finalize new training and adjust existing training to go beyond gender integration to better incorporate intersectional perspectives and analyses.

Priorities: Dedicate resources for the Action Plan

2.9 Target: By the end of the FY 2017/18, the management and coordination of the Action Plan’s implementation is supported with sufficient financial resources, and several officers FTEs.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

During FY 2020-21 the WPS Policy Unit has a team of one deputy director, five policy advisors and one part-time student.  All were dedicated wholly to WPS policy and the coordination of the Action Plan. PSOPs allocated operational budget expenses related to the work, in particular for the annual progress reports (editing and translation). In addition, with the creation of the Office of the Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security in June 2019, capacity to improve cross-government coordination of the implementation of the Action Plan continued to increase.

Priorities: Address SEA (together with other implementing partners)

2.10 Target:
  1. By the end of FY 2021/22, Canada demonstrates a substantial contribution to the implementation of the UN’s zero tolerance policy on SEA.
  2. By the end of FY 2021/22, Canada addresses gaps in accountability for Canadian personnel deployed to UN operations.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/2.10.1 and 2.10.2 /Objective 2

Target 1: Canada demonstrates a substantial contribution to the implementation of the UN’s zero tolerance policy on SEA:

Target 2: Canada addresses gaps in accountability for Canadian personnel deployed to UN operations:

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:

Target 1 - Canada demonstrates a substantial contribution to the implementation of the UN’s zero tolerance policy on SEA:

Target 2: Canada addresses gaps in accountability for Canadian personnel deployed to UN operations:

Results and Progress:

Canada continued to work with other donors, multilateral organizations and civil society to prevent and respond to SEA in the delivery of international assistance as well as peace operations, through active support for training initiatives, multilateral prevention and coordination efforts, and accountability measures at the national level.

Canada, through its Mission to the UN, continued to be a steadfast partner of the UN in its efforts to prevent and eradicate SEA and to exert pressure to improve prevention of and response to SEA. Canada continued to support the activities of the Circle of Leadership on the prevention of and response to SEA in UN operations and proposed language in UNGA 5th Committee and C34 negotiations to strengthen the UN’s response.  These actions complement and extend the ongoing financial and in kind support provided by Canada to both the United Nations Trust Fund on SEA and the Office of the Special Coordinator on SEA.

Since its creation in 2018, the Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Unit has been an active member in the United Kingdom Safeguarding Technical Working Group meetings. In June 2020, donors noted two challenges that required further discussion, and on this basis two informal groups continue to meet to study and discuss specific challenges, concerns, lessons learned and best practices in regards to (1) Investigations/Case Management and (2) Employment Accountability. Our participation in these groups helps guide the approach we take to prevent and respond to SEA, as well as form international best practices.

This year, Canada contributed to the first Interim Monitoring Survey for implementation of the DAC Recommendation on Ending SEA and SH, shared by the OECD-DAC PSEA Reference Group. Having just passed the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the DAC Recommendation, this survey will support the monitoring process of implementation of the Recommendation and provide information to support further peer learning. 

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) continued to ensure partner accountability for SEA prevention and response by communicating clear expectations to partners. This includes updating and standardizing sexual misconduct clauses in all agreements, thereby requiring all partners have a code of conduct that explicitly addresses SEA and that partners report, investigate and respond to credible allegations of SEA. The PSEA Unit continues to coordinate internally to discuss the integration of PSEA throughout the project cycle.

Through a collaborative partnership with Cooperation Canada (formerly CCIC), Digna - The Canadian Centre of Expertise on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, is helping close PSEA capacity gaps in the sector. Emphasizing a survivor centered approach, Digna serves Canadian partners (especially SMOs in full) through online resources, toolkits and training. In addition to helping partners meet increasingly robust PSEA expectations, Digna facilitates the national reflection process on PSEA in international assistance, while also engaging with likeminded global initiatives and stakeholders. The official launch of Digna took place in January 2021 with the participation of the Minister for International Development.

Canada maintained a focus on coordination and coherence on all PSEA lines of effort as reflected by the UN in the most recent UNSG report on SEA. Canada’s PSEA Unit within Global Affairs Canada continued to lead on coordination of PSEA efforts across the department and to facilitate coordination between GAC and other government departments and agencies.

During the reporting period, Canada worked to ensure that the 2021 report of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) of the UN General Assembly continued to include a strong focus on the issue of SEA, with emphasis on a victim-centered approach and victim assistance.

In particular, Canada successfully ensured the inclusion of concrete references to accountability, disciplinary measures and/or criminal prosecution where appropriate across the UN system, including for non-United Nations personnel.

Canada also successfully negotiated the inclusion of a recommendation on creating and maintaining a work environment that prevents all forms of misconduct as part of individual performance objectives for all civilian staff, with a specific focus on senior leadership.

Canadian financial support for the UN Trust Fund on SEA, for SEA-related training, as well as the Canadian deployment to the office of the UN SEA Coordinator, continues to help ensure that personnel deployed to UN operations receive the training and support required to prevent and address instances on SEA, and that the UN has the tools necessary to ensure adequate coordination and information within the UN system and between the UN and Member States, particularly troop and police contributors.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on reported rates of SEA remains unknown; however, research suggests rates of SEA and other forms of abuse increase during crises. Increased rates of reporting of allegations may increase demand for victim services and support. Implementation of the UNSG’s zero-tolerance policy on SEA continues, though serious accountability gaps remain for both UN and international personnel. Canada continues

A renewed focus on a whole-of-system approach to prevention at the UN is reflected in Canada’s continued focus on coordination and coherence across GAC and other government partners.

Priorities: Increase the number and role of women in peace operations

2.11 Target: Canada takes concrete steps to help increase uniformed women’s meaningful participation in UN peace operations.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 5

Canada continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing barriers to women’s participation in UN peace operations in uniformed police and military roles, and has taken concrete steps to design, establish and effectively implement the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations.

Baseline:
Activity
Indicator:
Completed Activities:

In FY 2020/21, the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations:

Results and Progress:

Significant progress was made in implementing the Elsie Initiative in FY 2020/21. On the advocacy front, Canada convened a Contact Group Meeting in September 2020 and co-hosted three major advocacy events, including a high-level event in May 2020 on Women in Peacekeeping for the International Day of the Peacekeeper (co-hosted with Zambia and Ghana), as well as an event on women’s leadership in peace operations in October 2020 (co-hosted with Bangladesh and the UK). The Elsie Initiative also supported three other events, as well as the UN’s Women in Peacekeeping social media campaign (May 2020) and the @UNPeacekeeping Peace Is My Mission campaign (October 2020).

Important progress was also made in implementing other components of the Elsie Initiative. For example:

Target 2.12: By the end of FY 2021/22, Canada provides a substantial contribution to the global evidence of barriers to women’s meaningful participation in peace operations in uniformed military and police roles, which is made available to Elsie Initiative partner countries, UN member states, UN entities, civil society, academics and think tanks.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 5

Canada continues to contribute to the development of global evidence of barriers to women's meaningful participation in peace operations demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing barriers to women's participation in UN peace operations.

Baseline(s):
Activity
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

In FY 2020/2021, the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations continued to work to build the global evidence of barriers to women’s meaningful participation in peace operations in uniformed military and police roles.

During the reporting period, Canada continued to support several major research projects, including the Reducing Barriers for Uniformed Women in UN Peace Operations project with DCAF and Cornell University, the Women's Participation in UN Peace Operations project with IPI, and Measuring Gendered Impacts on Operational Effectiveness in UN Peace Operations with Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

In 2020-2021, IPI produced three policy briefs, with additional briefs expected to be published in 2021-2022. The briefs published by IPI, coupled with IPI outreach activities, led to important policy impacts. For example, IPI’s brief on “Uniformed Women in Peace Operations: Challenging Assumptions and Transforming Approaches” informed the content of UNSC Resolution 2538, the first ever standalone brief on women in peacekeeping. Similarly, IPI’s brief “Woman First, Solider Second: Taboos and Stigmas Facing Military Women in UN Peace Operations” (together with a workshop hosted by IPI on the topic) helped push forward the discussion on sexual harassment in C34, leading to the adoption of the first ever reference to sexual harassment in the 2021 C34 report

Important progress was made in the development of the MOWIP methodology, an innovative tool developed by DCAF (with financial support from Canada and Norway) to help T/PCC military and police institutions identify barriers to women’s meaningful participation in UN peace operations and meaningful pathways to change. In October 2020, DCAF published the MOWIP methodology, while continuing to pilot its implementation in seven pilot countries. As of March 31, 2021, MOWIP assessments have been completed for the Zambia Police Service and Ghana Armed Forces, with the German Armed Forces also completing a barrier assessment in 2020-21 using an adapted version of the methodology. Additional assessments are expected to be completed in 2021-2022. Canada also supported the launch of DCAF’s Elsie Helpdesk and Cornell University’s Gender and Security Sector Lab to provide technical advice and analytical support to T/PCCs seeking to implement the MOWIP methodology. To date, the Elsie Help Desk has supported 21 security institutions in 13 countries, and the GSS Lab is supporting Liberia in implementing the MOWIP methodology within the Armed Forces of Liberia.

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a reccurring challenge for Elsie's research partners in their ability to conduct fieldwork. As a result, for select research, fieldwork was postponed and delayed until fall 2021 and, where possible, was adjusted to include virtual surveys and interviews. Additionally, there were delays with implementing the MOWIP methodology with pilot countries where DCAF has revised timelines and adapted the methodology in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, for 2021-2022, the Elsie Initiative will continue to contribute to the global evidence and support the publication of the following: fourteen issue briefs and policy papers, five barrier assessments for the remaining pilot countries, and a Global MOWIP report that will update the Elsie Initiative baseline study and include MOWIP findings from all pilot countries. 

3. Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)

Context: The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) is a contributions program, with an annual programming budget of $16.3 million to support small-scale, high impact projects, in countries which qualify for Official Development Assistance (ODA). The objectives of the program are to: 1) contribute to the achievement of Canada’s thematic priorities for international assistance; 2) assist in the advocacy of Canada’s values and interests and the strengthening of Canada’s bilateral relations with foreign countries and their civil societies; and 3) provide humanitarian assistance in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters and emergencies. The CFLI is a unique fund in that most projects are designed and implemented by local CSO that understand and respond to local needs and priorities. The CFLI is managed by Canada’s embassies and high commissions with projects being selected and monitored by Canadian diplomats. All CFLI projects must align with thematic priorities that are reviewed and updated on an annual basis. The thematic priorities are:

Priorities: Strengthen the gender proficiency of CFLI program managers and coordinators at Canadian Embassies and High Commissions

3.1 Target:

By the end of FY 2021/22, the CFLI significantly strengthens the gender proficiencyFootnote 7 of the managers and coordinators who implement the program at Canadian Embassies and High Commissions (also known as “missions”) in fragile and conflict affected states.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

All mission staff working on the CFLI program were required to take gender training in order to strengthen their ability to evaluate proposals through a gender lens and to enhance the gender equality outcomes of CFLI programming. In FY 2020/21, 99% (75/76) of CFLI Program Managers and Coordinators at missions accredited to fragile and conflict-affected states reported that they had completed gender training. Availability of the GBA Plus training materials online, and regular messaging from HQ to missions on the importance of gender training contributed to this 23% increase in compliance when compared with FY 2019/20 data.

Meanwhile, the need to move regional training to an online format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge in ensuring the opportunity for participants to ask questions and exchange best practices.

In 2021-2022, the CFLI Unit will continue to adapt gender and WPS training resources as needed to better fit both virtual and in-person training contexts and work towards strengthening the gender proficiency of the managers and coordinators who implement the program at Canadian missions in fragile and conflict affected states.

While restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacted missions’ abilities to conduct capacity-building activities such as round-tables and trainings on gender equality with CFLI recipients. Missions continued to report that gender training has increased their ability to advise recipient organizations, especially smaller civil society organizations, on how to consult with women and girls and deliver stronger gender-inclusive projects. As one officer noted, “Having a team that has completed gender training means we are able to guide new partners through the required gender-based analysis component, and consistently review programming with a GBA Plus lens.”

Priorities: Enhance GE outcomes of CFLI projects

3.2 Target: By the end of FY 2021/22, the CFLI enhances the GE outcomes of projects in fragile and conflict affected states.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

The CFLI continued to encourage enhanced integration of gender equality outcomes in projects in fragile and conflict-affected states. 87% of projects in fragile and conflict-affected states included consultations with women and/or girls prior to the submission of application for funding. This consultation rate was unchanged from the previous year.

In FY 2020/21, 95% of CFLI projects in fragile and conflict-affected states included a limited or detailed gender-based analysis, completed prior to the submission of the application for funding. Of all projects that included a gender-based analysis, 67% included a detailed analysis.

Missions continued to encourage and facilitate the submission of higher quality GBAs, through a number of means including communicating expectations in their calls for proposals and provided applicants with the step-by-step GBA Plus guide that had been prepared as a learning resource. While online tools such as Women and Gender Equality Canada’s GBA Plus online course remained available, it was a challenge for missions to implement other activities such as GBA Plus workshops for prospective CFLI applicants. Missions continue to work with applicants on an individual basis as required to understand and strengthen their gender-based analysis of the issues their projects were seeking to address.

4. Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Intelligence Bureau

Context:  The work of the Counter-terrorism, Crime and Intelligence Bureau includes policy and programming components. The programming component is referred to as the Anti-Crime and Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Programs (ACCBP and CTCBP). ACCBP and CTCBP have recently conducted a GBA Plus of their programs to assess the impact of programming on gender and other intersecting factors. Using the results of the analysis, ACCBP and CTCBP will continue to integrate gender and diversity issues where possible, with a focus on accounting for the differential impacts of security sector operations on women, men, girls and boys. They have also embedded a gender analysis and human rights section in all their project development and implementation tools. ACCBP and CTCBP are also responsible for developing, integrating and coordinating Canada’s international policies on countering terrorism (CT), countering violent extremism (CVE) and transnational criminal activity, in both bilateral and multilateral arenas. Gender is a key consideration in policy analysis and guidance, critical to understanding and responding to crime and terrorism issues, and a core competency of all policy and programming officers.

The Bureau is also responsible for developing, integrating, and coordinating Canada’s international policies and diplomacy on CT, addressing violent extremism and transnational criminal activity, in both bilateral and multilateral arenas. This includes fostering international cooperation to combat terrorism and crime, and representing Canada in various forums such as the G7 Roma-Lyon Group, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Global Counterterrorism Forum and the Financial Action Task Force. The division is also responsible for CT/countering violent extremism and anti-crime partnerships with foreign governments and international, regional, and non-governmental organizations including the UN, the Organization of American States, the G7, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the OSCE.

Priorities: Strengthen WPS and gender analysis capacity within ACCBP/CTCBP

4.1 Target: By the end of the FY 2021/22, 100% of officers in the Counter-Terrorism and Crime Program and Policy Teams have gender and/or WPS training at the end of each FY to increase the Programs’ capacity for gender-responsive interventions.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 3

Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

The work of the Bureau includes both programming and policy components. Programming is led by the Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Crime Capacity Building Programs (ACCBP and CTCBP respectively) while the Crime and Terrorism Policy Division (ICP) is responsible for developing, integrating, and coordinating Canada’s international policies and diplomacy on counter terrorism (CT), countering violent extremism (CVE) and transnational organized crime (TOC), in both bilateral and multilateral arenas. Gender and the WPS Agenda are critical to understanding and responding to terrorism, violent extremism and international crime issues, are key considerations across the Bureau and a core competency of all officers. 

All officers (100%) have completed the required GBA Plus training, this is the same percentage as last fiscal year. Seven officers completed additional training related to their files in FY 2020/21, up from 5 officers last fiscal year. Further, two ICP officers developed and presented a GBA Plus learning event tailored to the international crime context, attended by 17 officers across the Bureau.

Throughout various trainings, officers explored important concepts such as gender mainstreaming, gender equality, intersectionality, and the Feminist International Assistance Policy in relation to their work. Participants were also able to think about their internal biases and how these can influence their work. As a result, these trainings provided the opportunity for individual officers to increase their gender knowledge and analysis capacities and further empowers them to integrate gender, WPS and related considerations into their work. Events and opportunities on gender equity are also encouraged and shared within the Bureau, including by management to facilitate the comprehensive integration of gender and WPS considerations across the Bureau.

GBA Plus and related trainings also strengthened officers' capacity to advocate for, advise on, and collaborate to advance the gender and WPS dimensions in the international context. For example, ICC officers felt more confident advising programming partners on how to integrate gender into results-based management tools, such as logic models and performance measurement frameworks. Not only does this integrate gender into the design of a project through its inclusion in outcomes and outputs, but it allows for the monitoring and evaluation of progress against gender-sensitive indicators in line with Government of Canada priorities.

This further applies to ICP’s efforts in fostering international cooperation and representing Canada in various forums such as the G7 Roma-Lyon Group, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Global Counterterrorism Forum, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and the Financial Action Task Force. It also includes strengthening partnerships with foreign governments and international, regional, and non-governmental organizations including the UN, the Organization of American States, the G7, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), as well as other government departments. For example, one officer developed and delivered a presentation on Gender in Counter Terrorism and International Crime Policy to the Canadian Foreign Service Institute’s (CFSI) International Security and Terrorism Course, attended by colleagues from various government departments.

Challenge:

Officer movement poses a challenge to ensuring GBA Plus training in a given fiscal year, particularly if new team members arrive near the end of the reporting cycle. Short term contracts, such as casual employees, pose similar challenges with regards to reporting timelines. Competing priorities made it difficult to engage in additional GBA Plus and WPS-related trainings/seminars. The Bureau is working to address these issues through its new Strategic Vision Plan.

4.2 Target: The officers in ACCBP and CTCBP have access to resources in order to integrate gender perspectives and WPS into their work.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

While resources such as gender integration tools and gender advisors were not available to all Program Managers in 2016-2017, such resources are now widely available to all team members. A resource bank was created in 2018 and is regularly updated by ACCBP and CTCBP Program Managers. These resources are available in shared folders and are organized by themes such as drug trafficking, anti-corruption, human trafficking and smuggling, and arms control. Program Managers have learnt to consult these resources more frequently, as well as to share them with implementing partners more systematically.

Over the FY 2020/21, resources and reference materials have supported Program Managers’ understanding of several anti-crime and counter terrorism related thematics, including border security, terrorist financing, women in law enforcement and P/CVE. For example, the resource bank was used to increase Program Managers’ understanding of barriers faced by women working in law enforcement in South Asia, particularly in Afghanistan. Enhanced understanding of these issues has supported meaningful discussions with implementing partners on emerging issues faced by women in law enforcement. These resources are also shared with partners directly, again to share best practices on how to integrate gender to their projects’ activities, and measure progress with a gender-sensitive approach

Access to a gender advisor increased the number of conversations with implementing partners regarding gender integration. Meetings are now often organized with implementing partners at the planning stage to discuss gender integration in results-based management tools with the help of ICC’s in-house gender advisor.

Challenge:

Due to competing priorities, some Program Managers do not have the time to update gender-related material and resources on their thematic areas.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into CT policy and diplomacy

4.3 Target: Canada demonstrates leadership in ensuring that gender and WPS considerations are integrated into CVE/CT and international crime policy, advocacy and diplomatic efforts.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

The Crime and Terrorism Policy Division (ICP) continues to actively and thoughtfully integrate gender and the WPS Agenda into all lines of effort including policy, advocacy and diplomatic efforts.  This includes seeking to differentiate “gender” from “women” by highlighting the role that masculinities play in the context VE and terrorism, the ways in which healthy masculinities, women’s empowerment and gender equality can contribute to effective and sustainable outcomes, and the need to account for the varied experiences of diverse groups of women, men and children. Canada also continues to advocate for the importance of gender-responsive, age-appropriate, victim-centered, trauma-informed and culturally-relevant approaches to preventing and combatting TOC.

Canada continues to increase GBA Plus analysis, gender and WPS integration into all products and efforts. For example, at the UN and the OAS, Canada succeeded in incorporating gender-responsive language into several UN resolutions. Further, Canada increased its number of international interventions including gender to a total of 13. ICP also represented Canada at 5 gender related events including the Group of Friends of WPS meeting and the International Crisis Group’s A Course Correction for the WPS Agenda. ICP conducted a new GBA Plus analysis of its Migrant Smuggling file.

Canada continues to bring attention to gender and WPS issues in its international engagement, including through leadership in various fora. For example, Canada’s priorities that it promoted for its successful campaigns for election at the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) and the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) featured the importance of gender-responsive policies in response to crime, drug use and trafficking. Further, gender is a key priority for Canada as co-chair of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF). This is reflected in the Gender & Identity Factors Platform Initiative Canada co-leads with the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and within the Canadian-led GCTF Administrative Unit in its work. Canada also underlined the importance of gender in its interventions to virtual meetings of the GCTF Coordinating Committee.   

In the G7 Roma-Lyon Group, Canada continues to advocate for a coordinated holistic, preventative, human rights-based and gender-informed CT strategies, that builds resilience by addressing root causes. Through ASEAN discussions, Canada continues raise awareness regarding the need for a gender-informed approach to CT and CVE. Further, Canada amplified gender as a key priority in the first Virtual UN Counterterrorism Week and at the OAS CICTE Virtual Dialogue on Prevention of Violent Extremism. Canada also played a key role in establishing a series of ongoing FVEYs meetings on Women and Violent Extremism. Two meetings were held last FY. This new platform for collaboration will produce deliverables in the FY 2021/22.

The Government of Canada is currently implementing its 5-year National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, a key tool in countering SGBV, including in fragile, conflict and post-conflict settings. Built on the “4 Ps” approach: prevention, prosecution, protection and partnerships, the National Strategy introduces a new pillar, empowerment, to help victims and survivors regain control and independence through age- and gender-appropriate, and trauma-informed services. As part of the Strategy, Canada is leveraging its international engagements, particularly through UNODC to advocate for the mainstreaming of human rights, gender and diversity perspectives into responses to counter this crime. 

Canada continues to strengthen its engagement with experts and promote their participation at international events. For example, Canada commissioned 5 case studies relating to gender and CT from a CSO which covers multiple countries across several regions and demonstrate the nuances of effective gender approaches, concrete actions to address related challenges while strengthening the international communities’ evidence base on these issues.  They will be published in the 2021-22 FY and Canada will work to support and amplify the launch of these products. ICP also works in close collaboration with other government departments working on crime and counter-terrorism. 

ICP’s gender focal point continues to support capacity building and the integration of gender considerations through developing and delivering training and maintaining a resource bank. Canada continues to seek ways to develop and implement qualitative and quantitative measures to track engagement on GBA Plus and WPS integration.

Challenge:

Challenges are mostly related to the reception of these ideas in the international domain, and related inclusion in consensus-based international documents. For example, gender is not often mentioned in counter terrorism discussions leaving Canada as one of the only countries advocating for its consideration.  The perception endures that a gendered approach can be distilled into the inclusion of women.  Efforts to promote the operational value of intersectional and gendered approaches remain highly relevant, as is the continued need for data and practical tools.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into CT and anti-crime programming

4.4 Target: The officers of ACCBP and CTCBP integrate gender and WPS considerations into CT programming in a systematic manner, and increase programming that has a specific focus on gender and WPS

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

The Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program had 13 new projects approved in FY 2020/21 (18 less than in the previous reporting period)). Of those 13 projects:  

CTCBP’s new projects approved in 2020/2021 included one GE-3, a 100% increase from the previous year. GE-2 projects also increased from 19.35% to 30.77%, GE-1 projects decreased from 45.15% to 30.77%, and projects with no gender integration decreased from 35.5% to 30.77%.

The ACCBP had 21 projects approved in FY 2020/21 (an increase of 10 projects compared to FY 2019/20). Out of those 21 projects:

Overall, out of the 21 new ACCBP projects approved in 2020/2021, the portion of GE00 projects diminished from 6% to 4%, the portion of GE01 projects diminished from 53% to 20%, the portion of GE02 projects increased from 41% to 57%, and the portion of GE03 projects increased from 0% to 9.5%.

Implementing partners were encouraged to have their training programs reviewed by a gender specialist and to include a module on GBA PLUS and human rights. Most were able to include a gender training module and promote increased participation of women in project activities, despite the lack of women representation in the security field.

Overall, of the 17 new PARCLC projects approved in 2019-2020, the share of GE-00 projects decreased from 53% to 6%, the share of GE-01 projects increased from 21% to 53%, the share of GE-02 projects increased from 21% to 41%, and the share of GE-03 projects decreased from 3.5% to 0%.

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

CTCBP projects have increased integration of gender equality results and gender-sensitive indicators.

Some example projects of note include:

Challenges:

A challenge this year was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected many CTCBP projects in FY 2020/21. Specifically, the pandemic caused delays in the implementation schedule for project activities, with implications for the partners’ ability to meet targets for project outcomes on original timelines.

Another challenge comes from redesigning and updating projects that were approved before the WPS Action Plan so that they include gender-specific outcomes when implemented by partners.

ACCBP projects have increased the integration of gender throughout project activities, as well as monitoring and evaluation indicators.

Some examples of projects approved over FY 2020/21 include:

Challenges:

Partners or beneficiary countries sometimes conduct a basic gender analysis, which results in program activities that focus only on increasing women's participation in policy decision-making and training opportunities, however the linkages between violence against women/gender-based violence (VAW/GBV) are not made or explored. For example, there is a lack of legislative data that has been cross-referenced against provisions concerning domestic violence and/or IPV, which is crucial to collect before an enhanced gender-sensitive policy and legal responses can be undertaken.

Another issue is the general lack of knowledge in beneficiary states regarding gender, particularly in the security sector. For example, judges and investigators often lack the experience to recognize clues or evidence of GBV, which increases impunity in the cases of GBV. Gender awareness varies in each beneficiary country, which can also cause challenges in regional programming. In the case of LAC for example, the term "femicide" is not clearly and consistently defined across countries, and the concept of "femicide" hasn't largely been incorporated into the Caribbean region as a criminal offence.

5. Policy and Programming on Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament

Context:  Canada’s Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament activities include both policy and programming elements.  Target 5.1 relates to the Weapons Threat Reduction Program (WTRP), which is the primary programming vehicle for Canada to globally address threats posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials. The WTRP works with partner countries, regional and international organizations, and non-governmental organizations to implement programming to address WMD threats (nuclear and radiological; biological; chemical) as well as to support the universalization of treaties and conventions related to the proliferation of conventional weapons. Through the Program, Canada continues to play a leadership role globally in the area of weapons threat reduction. Target 5.2 relates to Canada’s non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament (NACD) policy activities within the context of Canada’s participation within the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee, which is responsible for NACD issues.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into WTR programming

5.1 Target: The WTRP integrates gender and WPS considerations into its programming in a systematic manner, with at least 20% of projects having GE01 or greater coding by the end of FY 2021/22.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 3

Baseline:
Activities:
Indicator
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

With 52.48% of all active projects across the Weapons Threat Reduction Program (WTRP) coded as GE01 or above, the program has exceeded its initial commitment of 25% towards Target 5.1. of the Canadian National Action Plan.

The WTRP consistently worked with implementing partners to ensure the application of a gender lens to all relevant projects, through the use of gender assessments, gender experts, and consultations with relevant external stakeholders.

In addition, the WTRP continues to integrate Gender-Based Analysis Plus into all stages of the project life cycle. This includes: the identification of potential gender and equality considerations by implementing partners at the project proposal stage; the identification of gender equality considerations through consultation with relevant internal and external stakeholders, including gender equality advisors; the creation and implementation of a “Gender Equality and Women, Peace and Security Form” as part of the standard project documents package; active monitoring of gender outcomes throughout project implementation; and continued tracking of gender outcomes following project closure.

The WTRP utilizes a results based management framework that integrates WPS and Feminist International Assistance Policy commitments. This includes gender language and gender disaggregation (where applicable) in program and project indicators to facilitate more robust gender and equality results-tracking at all stages of a project.

Challenge:

The WTRP’s core programming mandate focuses on preventing acquisition of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons and materials by terrorists or states of proliferation concern. This type of programming tends to rely heavily on equipment and infrastructure, which offers limited opportunities to incorporate meaningful gender equality outcomes.

The WTRP also experienced challenges during the year in retaining a GE Advisor to assist with the analysis and coding of projects. Personnel with the requisite skills, training and experience continue to be in short supply within GAC, which has a negative impact overall on achieving CNAP objectives and goals.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into diplomacy on disarmament

5.2 Target: A GBA Plus carried out on all resolutions of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee (responsible for disarmament, global challenges and threats), proposed or considered by Canada, and gender perspectives integrated.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada’s active diplomacy and multilateral engagement has focused on increasing gender participation and perspectives in disarmament dialogues and decision-making. These actions are making an impact and are laying the groundwork for a high degree of continued success on gender issues in these fora.

In 2020, Canada continued its work with the Geneva-based Disarmament Impact Group (which includes Canada, Ireland, Namibia, the Philippines, and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research) to coordinate advocacy efforts to include gender considerations language in several resolutions and decision at the Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee) of the UN General Assembly.

This collective effort resulted in the adoption, maintenance or enhancement of gender perspectives in 18 of 72 resolutions and decisions adopted by the First Committee in 2020. This represents an unprecedented number of resolutions with a gender dimension, up from 17 in 2019.

6. Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch

Context: The Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch is Global Affairs Canada’s key operational platform supporting the active engagement of Canadians in international development, notably by supporting Canadian civil society entities working in collaboration with developing country partners to reduce poverty through thematic programming as well as youth internships and the deployment of volunteers. Canadian entities in this context include non-governmental organizations; the private sector; colleges, universities, and research entities; provincial and regional councils; and foundations. Partnerships for Development Innovation leverages the expertise, knowledge, networks and resources of Canadian entities and their local partners. Its programming is able to operate in all Official Development Assistance-eligible countries, including in fragile and conflict-affected states. For example, Partnerships for Development Innovation has supported projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Afghanistan, Haiti and South Sudan. For these and other projects, Partnerships for Development Innovation pays particular attention to the integration of GE. For example, it supported a project in South Sudan to empower conflict-affected rural youth to become more economically productive and engaged in their communities. This project promoted education for youth, especially girls.

Priorities: Strengthen the integration of GE into its programming, including the promotion and realization of women’s and girls’ rights, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected states.

6.1 Target: Canada will increase the percentage of Partnerships programming that targets GE (GE03) or fully integrates GE (GE02).

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

In FY 2020/21, 50.04% of Partnerships for Development Innovation programming targeted GE03 (compared to 33.34% in 2019/20) and 39.85% fully integrated GE02 (compared to 40.85% in 2019/20). The branch continued to support Canadian partners to strengthen the integration of GE into their programming. This included support to 51 GE03- and 99 GE02-coded projects.

In FY 2020/21, the Equality Fund (GE03 project) continued its organizational design and build phase. The Equality Fund worked on its plan to create a grant-making stream focused on crisis and humanitarian settings, including conflict-related crises, which will contribute to WPS objectives in the coming years.

The Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch has increased engagement with Canadian partners on advancing gender equality, including through a training session with small and medium organizations (SMOs) on how to create strong gender equality strategies. 

Priorities: Explore programming opportunities with Canadian entities to support the WPS agenda.

6.2 Target: Canada will increase Partnerships programming to support the WPS agenda.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

17% of Partnerships programming was implemented in fragile and conflict-affects states.

The KAIROS project saw an increase in the participation of female GBV survivors in peace processes and post-conflict development was achieved by, inter alia: providing services to aid the healing of victims; and developing advocacy skills of victims, as part of the healing process, allowing for the increased participation of women in peace and governance processes. In FY 2020/21, project partners responded to the psychosocial needs of women victims as follows:

The project measured the extent to which women survivors of gender-based violence have been able to heal from their trauma and work as agents of change. The healing was measured through the survey responses of 342 women measuring capacities and traits related to self-confidence following the training and empowerment exercises. Aggregated results in 2020-2021 from the four participating partners show the gains from the previous year in the following areas: autonomy, resilience and strength, communication style, relationship to power structures, ways of thinking, and connecting to other people.

The data show changes in attitudes. Immediate behavioural impacts are captured by success stories. Wi’am, the Palestinian partner noted the following, “The end goal of our programming is not support or counseling, but instead transforming society into inclusive communities marked by equal participation, not just in theory, but more importantly in practice. Based on surveys given to 100 beneficiaries, we (Wi’am) have found that 78% of respondents are engaged in advocating for women’s rights in their local organizations and networks, 60% are advocating or willing to advocate on behalf of another individual, 39% took part in an active campaign for women’s rights, 32% were engaged in meetings to pressure government actors to make change, 10% are engaged in work as human rights trainers and teachers, and 4% act in some capacity as local councilors. Furthermore, when asked about the scope of their involvement in such work and processes, many specified engagement with advocacy and lobbying based groups and networks.”

A survey of participants in 2020-2021 measured involvement in peace and community development processes:

While projects do not specifically target alignment to the WPS agenda, selected projects contribute to the prevention and protection pillars of the WPS framework.

Prevention: The portfolio of G7 education projects contributes to prevention of conflict and violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations. Students in conflict zones struggle with traumatic experience, dislocated families, loss, and the associated emotions of anger and fear.

These projects, which focus on access and quality of education, help address children and youth's trauma through activities such as remedial learning, the promotion of inclusion, and psychosocial support to address biases and trauma that fuel conflict.

Protection:  The Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch’s G7 education projects contribute to the protection of young women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence. This is one of the primary barriers to education, as they face the threat of violence in the streets on their way to and from school as well as inside their educational institutions. These G7 projects work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence by establishing community watch systems and safe spaces in and out of schools and by working with men and boys, as well as communities, on awareness raising to tackle harmful social norms that perpetuate gender-based violence.

One challenge faced working on implementing WPS targets is that due to competing priorities, the G7 call was not conceptualized for alignment to the WPS agenda. Projects incidentally align with two of the pillars as mentioned above, as such the projects are not designed to report on WPS targets.

Priorities: Increase staff capacity on GE and promote staff engagement WPS policy and programming activities across the department.

6.3 Target: Canada will strengthen its GE capacity and WPS engagement

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

79% of respondents to a branch survey indicated that they completed the WAGE GBA Plus course in FY 2020/21 (58 out of 129 employees responded to the survey). 41% of respondents completed other gender equality and GBA Plus courses, 59% of respondents participated in panels or seminars on those subjects, and 26% of respondents attended WPS sessions.

The two gender equality specialists have worked closely with Project Team Leads and partners to design projects that either target or fully integrate gender equality and have provided them with insights and skills on effectively integrating gender equality in all their work. This work has led to significant improvements in the drafting of Project Implementation Plans and Gender Equality Strategies.

Priorities: Encourage and support partners to strengthen policies and procedures to prevent and respond to SEA in the delivery of international assistance.

6.4 Target: Canada’s partners will have stronger policies and procedures to prevent and respond to SEA.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Before 2018, there was no formal or standardized requirement for Canadian and other non-governmental organization partner organizations delivering development assistance to have measures and policies in place to prevent and respond to SEA.  Since then Canada has communicated clear expectations to partners. In addition, a standardized clause has been included in all contribution agreements, which requires that 100% of organizations applying for international assistance, development or humanitarian funding have a code of conduct addressing SEA. The PSEA Unit has also been ensuring the addition of clauses in the remaining templates and programs, which includes the Complex Request for Proposals template and Canada Fund for Local Initiatives Contribution Agreement. Guidance on the PSEA has been added in the CFLI guidelines. The PSEA Unit continues to coordinate internally to discuss the integration of the PSEA throughout the project cycle.

Canada has continued to actively engage with the Canadian civil society, including through the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC, rebranded as Cooperation Canada in October 2020) and the Humanitarian Response Network (HRN) to share best practices and tools in prevention, safeguarding, investigation and support measures for victims and survivors. On May 25, 2018, the Minister for International Development sent a letter to all current Canadian partners detailing the department’s expectations around codes of conduct, prevention and response efforts, and timely reporting to Global Affairs Canada. A half-day dialogue between CCIC members and Global Affairs Canada took place on September 21, 2018 to update on sector developments and to discuss key issues related to prevention and response to SEA. Since then, dialogues with the civil society organization sector repeat every year. The latest occurred in February 2021.

In May 2020, Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch’s Assistant Deputy Minister sent a letter to remind partners of the importance of prevention, response from SEA especially during the pandemic. In July 2019, Global Affairs Canada partnered with Cooperation Canada as the key umbrella organization for Canadian international development and humanitarian partners, to establish The Canadian Centre of Expertise on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (known as “Digna”) to support capacity building of civil society organizations in Canada to prevent and respond to SEA in the delivery of international assistance. Resources, trainings and other services are being developed and delivered by Digna to address and to help close existing PSEA capacity gaps in the sector with an emphasis on supporting small and medium organizations. The official launch of Digna took place in January 2021 with the participation of the Minister for International Development.

Since the launch of an introductory training on PSEA, the PSEA Unit has continued to work on internal capacity building at Global Affairs Canada. Information sessions by the PSEA Unit continue to be offered and continued targeted communications promoting prevention and response to SEA are shared over the year.

Multilateral engagement

7. Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations

Context: The United Nations (UN) plays a significant role in the development of norms and guidelines pertaining to WPS. A wide array of New York-based UN bodies address WPS, including first and foremost the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but also the General Assembly (UNGA), the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), as well as departments such as the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, the Department of Peace Operations, and funds and agencies such as UN Women and UNFPA. The WPS agenda has become increasingly institutionalized at the UN, with the adoption of nine United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) pertaining directly to WPS, the completion of a Global Study on 1325, the establishment of an Informal Experts Group in the Security Council, Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, and the appointment of gender and women protection advisors to key UN offices and field missions. That being said, a number of challenges remain for the full implementation of WPS commitments at the UN: WPS is not mainstreamed throughout the work of the organization; several key members of the UN, including permanent members of the Security Council, do not fully support the WPS agenda;  there are recurring incidents of SEA by UN peacekeepers and staff;  insufficient resources are dedicated to gender issues in the UN’s peace and security functions;  too few women are appointed to senior roles at the UN or serve as peacekeepers; and implementation of WPS commitments remains weak.

Canada is seen as a leader on WPS at the UN as a key architect of UNSCR 1325, the Chair of the 58-member Group of Friends of WPS, a major donor to WPS efforts, and a principled voice on this issue. Canada can help advance the WPS agenda at the UN through advocacy and information sharing with member states and the UN, leadership in the Security Council and UNGA negotiations, collaboration with civil society groups, and public messaging including through social media.

Priorities: Support the increased and meaningful participation of women in peace processes

7.1 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment at the UN to ensuring increased and meaningful participation of women in peace resolution processes, including in conflict prevention, mediation and post-conflict reconciliation, and more specifically delegations to peace resolution processes.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada continues to be seen as a leader on the WPS agenda at the UN. This is in part due to its role in developing UNSCR 1325, but it is sustained through the chairing of the Group of Friends of WPS and the broader promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment across the board in all forums within the UN system. Canada’s leadership on the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, building upon Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Feminist International Assistance Policy has further bolstered Canada’s credentials as a leader in this area. The nomination of a Canadian Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security helped to cement Canada’s leadership and visibility on this file. This issue has also become a central feature of Canada’s UNSC bid and its Chairship of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).

Canada has consistently and visibly called for the meaningful participation of women in all areas of peace and security, notably conflict prevention and peace processes. The Mission took every opportunity to deliver statements at the UNSC and UNGA both in formal and high-level sessions as well as informal and working level discussions that recognized women as agents of positive change in the context of peace processes, and called for accountability for sexual violence, and consistently raised the issue of women’s political participation in PBC meetings. Canada also raised the meaningful participation of women regularly as part of its chairmanship of the Group of Friends of WPS, which now counts over 60 member states amongst its ranks. In FY 2020/21, the Mission convened the Group of Friends six times, facilitating discussions with experts on a variety of issues related to the agenda, including women’s meaningful participation in the peace processes. The Mission also implemented its Gender Pledge which calls for gender balance delegations and the promotion of women’s participation in all aspects of peace and security. Members of the Mission also met several times through virtual means to exchange information on challenges and opportunities with women’s organizations such as the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, the NGO Working Group on WPS, and women civil society briefers to the UNSC. Lastly, the mission maintained close contact with UN Women, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), to discuss how best to include women in peace processes.

Despite these efforts, the participation of women in peace and security decision making remains very low. All signs also show that this trend has been further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There has also been a general downtrend in the inclusion of gender provisions in peace agreements. While not in Canada’s control, these cases have highlighted the failures of the current approach on women’s participation despite repeated and high level calls for increasing women’s participation in peace processes.

Priorities: Support the integration of gender into UN peacekeeping

7.2 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment to supporting gender-responsive UN peacekeeping missions, including aiming to double the number of women peacekeepers, in line with UNSCR 2242.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 5

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada is one of the strongest and most visible proponents at the UN of increasing gender responsiveness of UN peace operations and of encouraging women’s full and meaningful participation including as a means to achieve greater operational effectiveness. FY 2020/21 continued to see a major and fundamental positive change in discussion on women in peacekeeping due to the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations led by Canada, and in particular the Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations which truly became operational. Thanks to the truly innovative approach of the Fund and Canada’s important financial contribution, we are recognized as a true leader in this field by the UN and other member states. Through its dedicated position focusing on this issue, PRMNY has increased its capacity on gender and peacekeeping. The Mission as a whole continued to promote and advance these objectives in all aspects of its work, from UNGA Fifth Committee and C34 negotiations, within the military and police circles and as a central plank of Canada’s bid for a non-permanent seat to the UN Security Council.

Canada took every relevant opportunity to deliver statements at high-level forums calling for new and creative thinking to resolve persistent barriers to female participation and leadership in peacekeeping and to promote the innovative solutions proposed through the Elsie Initiative. During its 2021 substantive session, PRMNY negotiated in partnership with Australia and New Zealand to champion the inclusion of gender-responsive language in the documents of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations with positive results. PRMNMY successfully advocated for strong language on women in peace peacekeeping, SEA and Women, Peace and Security in the final report. In the annual session of the UNGA’s Fifth Committee, Canada remained a strong advocate for the indispensable role of women in UN peacekeeping operations, continually emphasizing that women’s participation at all levels is key to the operational effectiveness of missions. This included prioritizing and supporting posts in the UN peacekeeping budget implementing WPS activities such as women protection advisors, gender advisors, and SEA investigators. PRMNY also took every opportunity to highlight the importance of the WPS Chiefs of Defence Staff Network and to highlight its contributions to promoting change within militaries and to reduce barriers for women in national armies and, ultimately, in UN peace operations.

It is important to recognize that despite strong political commitment from Canada and other partners, the participation of women in peace operations overall is still very low and will not meet the targets to double the number of women peacekeepers set out in UNSCR 2242 and reinforced in the Uniform Gender Parity Strategy unless continued efforts and more measures are taken both by the UN and member states, and in particular large troop and police contributing countries. Much work still needs to be done in order to implement the institutional and cultural shift necessary to truly ensure the meaningful participation of women in all UN peace operations.

Priorities: Support the prevention of SEA in UN peace-keeping operations

7.3 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment to strengthening the UN peacekeeping prevention efforts, accountability measures, transparency, and tangible victim support for SEA.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada, through its Mission to the UN, continued to be a steadfast partner of the UN in its efforts to prevent and eradicate SEA and to exert pressure to improve prevention of and response to SEA. Canada continued to support the activities of the Circle of Leadership on the prevention of and response to SEA in UN operations and proposed language in UNGA 5th Committee and C34 negotiations to strengthen the UN’s response.  These actions complement and extend the ongoing financial and in kind support provided by Canada to both the United Nations Trust Fund on SEA and the Office of the Special Coordinator on SEA.

According to the UN, the number of cases of sexual exploitation and abuse reported for peacekeeping and special political missions has slightly decreased, with 66 allegations reported in 2020 related to peace operations compared with 80 allegations reported in 2019. It is not yet clear what impact the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects on peace operations and deployments has had. As with all cases of sexual violence, these numbers underestimate the scale of the problem. Moreover, underreporting of allegations implicating personnel from other UN entities and non-UN personnel working with implementing partners is a continuing concern. While increased attention and a strong set of policies exist at the UN-level, the main challenge remains with member states and how they manage cases of sexual exploitation and abuse as well as of conduct and discipline. The issue of sexual harassment, including in the UN Secretariat and UN agencies is also become an increasing concern and one where greater attention needs to be focused.

Despite Canadian funding to an SEA Victims Trust Fund, UN financial support for victims of SEA is almost completely lacking and far from sufficient. There continues to be discrepancies between different parts of the UN system on how to address SEA. Finally, the UN SG hasn’t consistently repatriated peacekeepers from all countries with records of systematic sexual violence in conflict.

Priorities: Promote the increased representation of women in senior positions at the UN

7.4 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment to promoting greater representation of women in senior UN positions, especially those dealing with peace and security issues.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada is a strong supporter of the Secretary General’s Gender Parity Strategy, which operationalizes the goal of gender parity, moving the UN from ambition to action. Overall, progress during the reporting period was positive. The Mission continued to advocate and promote gender equality in all senior UN positions.

PRMNY succeeded in achieving gender parity in its nominations in FY2020/21. During the reporting period, PRMNY provided nominations and/or letters of support for 10 positions at senior levels at the UN. Of these, 5 were men and 5 were women. Through significant effort, outreach and advocacy, the Mission also helped to secure the high-profile re-election of Marcia Kran to the Human Rights Committee.

PRMNY committed to regularly consulting with Member States, women’s groups, and groups promoting gender parity women and girls on the full range of policy areas, not simply those directly on the topics of gender equality and women’s rights. Canada participated in the meetings of the Friends of Gender Parity.

8. Canada at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Context: Canada is actively engaged in the advancement of the WPS agenda at NATO. The Joint Delegation of Canada works to mainstream GE and integrate gender and WPS considerations across committee work and in decisions taken at NATO. Canada is the largest contributor to the NATO 1325 Trust Fund, contributing $400,000 over FY 2017/18 to fund activities and programs run by the Office of the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for WPS. Canada actively participated in shaping and developing the NATO WPS Policy and Action Plan. The Delegation of Canada promoted the organization of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in March 2017 to review progress in the implementation of the NATO WPS Action Plan, which placed this issue on the Council's agenda on a periodic basis going forward. The North Atlantic Council is the principal political decision-making body of NATO. Canada pushed for language to strengthen the references to WPS in the Communiqué for the NATO Warsaw Summit in 2016, which was ultimately adopted into the text. In March 2016, Canada co-hosted with Iceland an event to mark International Women's Day, including a conference on GE with Permanent Representatives, Military Representatives, and senior NATO Representatives, and social media activities throughout the day. Canada is among the core group of the Friends of UNSCR 1325 at NATO and regularly convenes meetings of this group to push forward the WPS agenda at NATO. The Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO also published social media campaigns for the 16 days to Combat Violence Against Women and for International Women's Day, which have received pick-up internationally by prominent social media accounts. Canada provides financial assistance to the Office of the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for WPS, and also staffs the person who is now International Military Staff Office of the Gender Advisor at NATO headquarters; Canada works very closely with both of them on WPS issues at NATO.

Canada’s efforts are warranted because though progress has been made in integrating gender perspectives in NATO training, operations, and guidelines, women remain under-represented in the Alliance, particularly in decision-making positions. NATO Allies averaged 10.3% of women in their military ranks in 2014 with only 5.7% of women in NATO’s operations and missions. Furthermore, some Allies maintain restrictions for women in certain combat roles, a hurdle removed in Canada.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into NATO’s policies, activities and efforts on collective defence

8.1 Target: Canada remains a recognized leader within the Alliance on advancing and promoting WPS, helping to ensure that NATO and Allies increasingly integrate gender perspectives and WPS in all NATO’s work.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada remained a strong, highly-recognised leader on WPS within NATO. In FY 2020/21, Canada was still the top financial donor to the NATO WPS Office, contributing $800,000 over 2017-2021 as well as a Canadian WPS expert embedded in the NATO WPS Office to promote gender mainstreaming, develop training, and strengthen NATO’s monitoring and evaluation capacity, for example. Canada also helped ensure that NATO would continue to consider additional resources to support its WPS agenda.

Through its consistent efforts, Canada strengthened NATO’s WPS commitments by systematically advocating for integrating gender perspectives into all of NATO’s work, raising WPS and gender issues in every committee when appropriate, at all levels, both on the civilian and military side. Canadian officials meeting with NATO, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence, also raised WPS during their discussions. In addition, as the leader of NATO’s “Group of Friends of 1325” and the new “Group of Friends of Human Security,” which Canada established in 2019, Canada continued to keep WPS issues top of mind at NATO by regularly convening meetings to continue advancing the WPS agenda – as well as human security issues which overlap with WPS, such as conflict-related sexual violence – in the absence of formal meetings restricted by the pandemic.

Canada’s voice on WPS is consistently sought-after and highly respected in the Alliance, and its contributions to NATO policy consultations were actively solicited and greatly appreciated. These included an expert advisory panel on conflict-related sexual violence, policy workshops including several “Digital Dialogues” on various WPS-related topics, and a virtual “learning exchange” where Canada facilitated an expert presentation on recent advances for women in peace operations. Canada’s Permanent Representative to NATO was also invited to speak as one of three guest panelists at an event on gender equality and leadership for International Women’s Day in March 2021.

During the reporting period, Canada hosted over 12 informal meetings with Allies, Partners and NATO Staff, including “Group of Friends” meetings, to advance WPS at NATO. The North Atlantic Council (the principal political decision-making body of NATO) also had one meeting dedicated to WPS to mark the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, and, in October 2020, Allied Defence Ministers discussed WPS as an official topic for the first time, following consistent advocacy by Canada and like-minded Allies.

Canada also raised public awareness about WPS at NATO through two Twitter accounts (one in each official language), which feature NATO’s #WeAreNATO campaign as well as the work of civilian and military women at NATO, and through public diplomacy efforts.

Challenges:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Canada was not able to host as many “Group of Friends” meetings as usual, and most higher-lever WPS meetings and events were postponed or cancelled. This was unfortunate, as these help boost the profile of WPS at NATO. Nevertheless, once virtual solutions were established, Canada was able to resume regular “Group of Friends” meetings, both to advance policy work and to discuss topics of interest to keep WPS top-of-mind at NATO.

Priorities: Enhance cooperation between NATO, Allies and partners on WPS in NATO’s work

8.2 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment to ensuring that WPS priorities are systematically included in NATO cooperative security frameworks, including defence and capacity-building projects on a systematic basis.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Over the reporting period, Canada helped to ensure that WPS issues remained high-level priorities for the Alliance, including in its cooperative security frameworks. Canada systematically raised gender and the importance of advancing the WPS agenda in its meetings with NATO Partners, including in meetings of the North Atlantic Council (the principal political decision-making body in the Alliance), in committee discussions on cooperative security frameworks such as partnership plans or assessments, and in informal meetings with Partners on how to better advance cooperation on WPS issues in the NATO context.

Canada is a highly respected leader on WPS among NATO Partners, and is frequently approached by Partners wanting to increase cooperation with NATO and Allies on WPS issues. Canada systematically advocates within the Alliance for such increased cooperation, as the WPS agenda is a topic of Partner interest with a high potential for fruitful cooperation and mutual growth. As such, Canada advocated for and helped ensure the participation of Partners in appropriate WPS- and human security-related discussions throughout the reporting period. In addition, through the NATO Allies and Partners chapter of the “Group of Friends of 1325,” Canada helped keep Partners informed as appropriate of NATO’s WPS activities, and solicited their input and participation in various NATO events and information gathering activities. This helped them continue to feel connected and involved in WPS at NATO despite pandemic restrictions.

Canada was also able to contribute its expertise and perspectives during WPS-related cooperative security activities, including a large virtual event to which all NATO Allies and Partners were invited to discuss NATO Partnership cooperation in the WPS context (October 2020). In addition, Canada contributed significantly to NATO's new WPS Global Database (https://www.globalwps.org/), launched on International Women’s Day in March 2021, which aims to provide support for Allies and Partners on the development and revision of National Action Plans (NAPs) by providing a compendium of comprehensive and accessible information on the overall commitments of NATO Allies to WPS, including best practices – fulfilling a key principle of cooperative security.

Challenges:

NATO’s cooperative security work was particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions given its reliance on international travel and on in-person meetings. As such, Canada was not able to advocate with Partners as strongly and as regularly as usual for inclusion of WPS and gender issues, but did raise it whenever possible, including during online meetings once virtual working solutions were implemented. In addition, although the importance of advancing the WPS agenda receives broad consensus amongst most Partners, the necessary culture change in the historically male-dominated military and security and defence sectors is incremental. Cooperation on the WPS agenda is still often seen as peripheral to more important cooperation on “hard security” issues. Nevertheless, these views are slowly changing, as consistent advocacy from Canada along with like-minded Allies and Partners is resulting in WPS and gender issues increasingly being recognized as important, and WPS efforts increasingly being discussed and implemented in cooperative security frameworks as a matter of course.

Priorities: Promote the increased representation of women in senior positions at NATO

8.3 Target: Canada supports the increased representation of women in senior positions at NATO.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:

Continued to raise the issue of accountability by senior decision-makers at NATO for diversity in the workplace by consistently highlighting the importance of gender balance in senior positions at NATO, including during management meetings on human resources and during discussions on NATO’s future direction.

Results and Progress:

Women are unfortunately consistently under-represented in senior-level positions in the Alliance. In order to support the increased representation of women in senior positions at NATO, Canada has consistently highlighted the importance of female leadership, and has advocated strongly and consistently for the inclusion of measures that encourage female applicants in NATO recruitment procedures. A Canada-funded study published in November 2020 should also help identity and propose solutions to break down barriers to women’s recruitment, selection and career advancement within the NATO International Staff. Canada also contributed to public diplomacy material to be used in recruitment which emphasizes diversity and inclusion, including gender diversity.

Canada tried to lead by example wherever possible by proposing qualified Canadian women candidates within the Alliance: during the reporting period, Canadian women filled relatively senior positions at NATO Headquarters, including the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative on WPS, and the Gender Adviser in the International Military Staff. In addition, Lieutenant-General Frances Allen, the highest-ranking woman in the Canadian Armed Forces, was appointed Canada’s Military Representative to the Military Committee in August 2020.

Furthermore, Canada has been setting positive examples by appointing female military officers to key senior positions elsewhere in the NATO enterprise. Notably, Canadian Commodore Josée Kurtz, the former Commander of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), was the first woman to be given such a command in NATO history. One of the highest-ranking women in the Canadian Armed Forces, then-Major-General Jennie Carignan, commanded NATO Mission Iraq from November 2019 to November 2020. From September 2018 to July 2020, Brigadier-General Darlene Quinn was in command of Canada’s Formation Europe and was Canada’s National Military Representative to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers. Then-Lieutenant-General Christine Whitecross was the first woman to command the NATO Defense College in Rome from November 2016 to July 2020.

Challenges:

Women remain under-represented in the Alliance, particularly in senior decision-making positions, despite the proportion of occupying senior roles having increased from 11% to 30% since 2002. Canada is encouraging NATO and Allies to continue to increase the representation of women, particularly at senior levels, within both the International Staff and the International Military Staff, and in operations. As stated above, Canada tries to lead by example, filling relatively senior positions at NATO Headquarters with Canadian women, such as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative on WPS and the Gender Adviser in the International Military Staff. Allies, Partners and the Alliance alike have raised the particular challenge of recruitment and retention in the traditionally male-dominated defence and security sector, and have held discussions on potential causes and solutions.

9. Permanent Mission of Canada in Geneva

Context:  The mission participates in a range of Geneva-based UN bodies and other intergovernmental organizations that are active on security, human rights, humanitarian issues, migration, health, labour and disarmament, as well as trade and development, and that can effect change in the lives of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected states. Among these organizations are the Human Rights Council; UN High Commissioner for Refugees; International Organization for Migration; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/ICRC; International Labour Organization; World Health Organization; and the Conference on Disarmament. The mission also engages on a number of additional Geneva-based processes that are relevant including on protection of medical missions and on standards for private military and security companies. In addition, Canada is a governing board member or participant in many relevant Geneva-based international CSO and advocacy groups. 

Priorities: Advance WPS in Geneva-based multilateral fora and other organizations

9.1 Target: By the end of FY 2018/19, the Mission develops key messages on WPS and uses them systematically in multilateral institutions and processes, governing boards and councils, and advocacy groups that can effect change in the lives of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator
Completed Activities:

Disarmament, Peace and Security

Humanitarian

Human Rights

Results and Progress:

Disarmament, Peace and Security

At the UN General Assembly First Committee (1C) in October 2020, Canada led a process to increase gender perspectives in resolutions, successfully contributing to the adoption of new language on gender equality in several resolutions. In addition, Canada, in its national statement, stressed that applying a gender perspective across all disarmament issues remains fundamental, not only in terms of equal participation in disarmament processes, but also in recognizing the differentiated gender impacts of weapons. 

During its chairmanship of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) Committee on Article 5 Implementation, Canada ensured that the Committee, in its interactions with mine-affected states, systematically emphasized the decisions on gender mainstreaming at the APMBC Fourth Review Conference (RevCon4) and the related commitments for mine-affected states, as well as the consensus recognition by RevCon4 that boys, girls, men and women are affected differently by anti-personnel mines. Canada also ensured that the Committee systematically offered assistance to mine-affected states regarding the implementation of the relevant commitments.

Human Rights

Canada advocated for progressive language on women’s human rights and gender equality during negotiations on Human Rights Council (HRC) resolutions related to fragile, conflict and post-conflict settings (e.g. resolutions on Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen).

As co-chair of the Women’s Human Rights and Gender Network, Canada continued to promote the WPS Agenda in human rights mechanisms (e.g. HRC, Universal Periodic Review (UPR), treaty body reviews, Special Procedures mandates, etc.) among States, civil society, UN entities and academia which are members of the network.

Challenge:

In FY 2020/21, the main challenge faced in implementing this target has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the postponement/cancellation of events, limited access to resources and in some cases created new competing priorities.

9.2 Target:

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed – 9.2.1, 9.2.2/Objective 1 and 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Launched in 2018, the Group of Friends on WPS is led by Canada and composed of 33 Member States and 14 civil society organizations observers, in addition to UN Women and the UN Population Fund. The members agreed that the Group would function as a network of well-informed stakeholders, notably by organizing WPS-relevant events and by sharing information, both at meetings and via other means (e.g. virtual discussions), in order to identify gaps and opportunities for collaboration across different WPS sectors:

These efforts aim to mainstream WPS in existing mechanisms where applicable, avoiding duplication and maximizing impact. In its FY 2020/21 activities, the Group of Friends on WPS has engaged on:

Challenge:

In FY 2020/21, the main challenge faced in implementing this target has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the postponement/cancellation of events, limited access to resources and in some cases created new competing priorities.

Priorities: Support the increased and meaningful participation in Geneva-based fora of women from fragile and conflict-affected states

9.3 Target:
  1. By the end of FY 2019/20, the mission has sponsored of partnered to support at least three activities related to women in FCAS per year.
  2. By the end of FY 2021/22, the mission supports at least 20 women or women’s groups per year.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track – 9.3.1, 9.3.2/Objective 1 and 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:

Disarmament, Peace and Security

Humanitarian

Results and Progress:

As a contributor to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) Sponsorship Programme, Canada regularly receives, through the Sponsorship Programme Coordinator, applications seeking sponsorship to attend meetings of the APMBC. In this capacity, we have consistently supported gender-balanced delegations.

Sponsorships are administered by a third party. Canada has asked that its funding prioritize opportunities for women to be part of delegations, but the number of candidates varies and is ultimately up to the sending organization.

Canada also contributes to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) Sponsorship Programme and has requested that its funding prioritize opportunities for women delegates.

Challenge:

In FY 2020/21, the main challenge faced in implementing this target has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the postponement/cancellation of events, limited access to resources and in some cases created new competing priorities.

Priorities: Strengthen WPS and gender analysis capacity within the Mission

9.4 Target: By the end of the FY 2018/19, all Mission officers working with internationally-oriented institutions and organizations that have the ability to effect change in the lives of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected states are trained in gender competence and develop, on an ongoing basis, gender expertise as it relates to their respective responsibilities.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

27 positions were identified as relevant under this indicator for the reporting period. These were filled by 14 women and 13 men. Of this group, 11 women and 9 men reported having received relevant training.

Challenge:

In FY 2020/21, the main challenge faced in implementing this target has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused limited access to resources and in some cases created new competing priorities.

10. Canada at the International Organization of La Francophonie

Context: One of the four major priorities of la Francophonie is peace, democracy and human rights. The International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) programming in this area, which is directly supported by Canadian voluntary contributions, includes transitions and electoral processes; support for State and civil society actors in the areas of democracy, human rights, as well as crisis and conflict prevention and management; and the maintenance and consolidation of peace. WPS is addressed notably through the Francophone Women’s Network for Peace. Within the OIF, there are several opportunities to raise issues and promote solutions related to WPS: the various meetings of the OIF working groups and commissions; the meetings of the Permanent Council of La Francophonie and of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie; the Francophonie Summit and various thematic conferences; meetings of various boards and general assemblies of operators and of other institutions of La Francophonie (Association internationale des Maires francophones, Agence universitaire de la Francophonie , Senghor University, Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable); the preparation of the OIF’s strategic framework, programming, strategies; as well as the preparation of resolutions and statements by Heads of State and government.

Priorities: Advance the WPS agenda in La Francophonie

10.1 Target: Key messages on WPS are used regularly in relevant OIF meetings that can effect change in the lives of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Canada is recognized as a leader in WPS and GE within the Francophone space. Canada's activities and forums for advancing WPS issues during the period supported women's participation and effective representation, and highlighted the particular importance of advancing women's and girls' rights in peacebuilding and conflict prevention and management contexts. Canada's interventions and actions have led to concrete results, including:

Canada continues to encourage the use of gender indicators and the achievement of results in the area of GE within the OIF. It is expected that the new HFE unit, established in 2020, will enable the IOF to better meet Canadian expectations in this regard in the future.

WPS issues have generally been addressed by the IOF in recent years, as demonstrated by the Francophonie's Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality, Women's and Girls' Rights and Empowerment, the IOF's 2019-2022 Quadrennial Programming, and the creation of the WPS Unit.

Challenges:

Two challenges, however, have limited our ability to achieve results. The first is the multilateral context and the difficulty of building consensus with other parties who do not share Canada's priorities in WPS. Canada has generally been able to advance its priorities despite this context, thanks to the collaboration of several affinity countries. The success of the December 2020 consultation demonstrates that Canada can count on several allies within La Francophonie to advance these considerations.

Furthermore, the IOF's gender equality and monitoring and evaluation resources are still being developed. This represents a second challenge that limits the organization's ability to optimally integrate and monitor WPS issues in its programming. Canada supports the IOF through targeted expertise and funding to increase the IOF's capacity in this area.

Priorities: Strengthen gender analysis capacity within Global Affairs Canada’s La Francophonie-team

10.2 Target: By the end of FY 2021/22, two officers working on the OIF, one Ottawa-based and one Paris-based, are trained on gender to provide, on an ongoing basis, gender expertise as it relates to their respective responsibilities.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Internal Capacity Building

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicators:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Although no new officers received significant training on GE issues this year, the Francophonie team still exceeds the target of two trained officers. Indeed, four Francophonie officers at headquarters and in the field (PARIS) have received at least one training on GE, which allows them to act effectively with Francophonie institutions in the development of positions, policies and programs covering WPS and gender equality issues. These trainings have also allowed for the development of a better internal knowledge of the resources available to support Canada's interventions on gender equality in the Francophonie context.

For the 2021-22 fiscal year, it is expected that new employees will also benefit from training.

11. Canada at the Organization for Security and Co-operation In Europe

Context: Canada has been actively engaged in ensuring the adoption of several specific policies and measures in support of GE for the OSCE, both with participating States and within the Organization itself. Canada promotes the continued implementation of the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality (APPGE), advocates for the provision of more detailed data in its annual GE report, and helps identify ways for the Organization’s Secretariat, institutions and field operations to further integrate GBA Plus in day-to-day operations. Canada also actively advances and promotes priorities such as:

Priorities: Mainstream gender and WPS in the OSCE Secretariat, Institutions, and Field Missions

11.1 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment to supporting the OSCE Secretariat in promoting better integration of gender perspectives in its activities and operations.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/ Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Concrete action within the OSCE that will lead to actual progress is highly dependent on political will. VOSCE’s efforts aimed at building that political will, one speaker and one intervention at a time.

VOSCE regularly raised gender equality and Women, Peace and Leadership in its official statements to demonstrate its commitment and support of the OSCE Secretariat. OSCE gender-based Networks (Women Ambassadors, Women in 1st Dimension, and Men Engage) were initially informal and established mainly to share views on priority issues, but have rapidly evolved into concrete advocacy tools. For example, Women Ambassadors at the OSCE has become a voice in itself, now delivering statements at the Permanent Council, on behalf of the women ambassadors, highlighting their contribution at the OSCE.  These interventions and active engagement in gender-based Networks were critical this year in ensuring a strong focus on WPS in the lead-up to the 2021 Ministerial Council.

Challenge:

In the OSCE the notion of “gender” creates deep divides along national-sociological lines, and there are persistent efforts by certain participating States to roll back previously agreed language. The inclusion of WPS or gender equality language in Ministerial decisions, which are essential to generate progress, is an uphill battle.  It requires relentless efforts from delegations determined to achieve concrete results.  Canada and like-minded delegations often have to be prepared to renounce or compromise progress in other areas in order to make some gains on gender, and sometimes even only to maintain the acquis.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into the politico-military efforts of the OSCE

11.2 Target: Canada demonstrates strong commitment to ensuring the systematic integration of gender perspectives into OSCE capacity-building initiatives and outreach activities such as training, conferences, workshops, etc., especially with defence forces, operational law enforcement agencies, and other security-related government entities.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Since 2018, the Secretariat has been tracking the gender balance in panels at the OSCE conferences and meetings. In 2020, the gender imbalance was reduced by 18%. While women are overrepresented on panels in the human dimension, representation within the 1st Dimension (politico-military) remains low. Raquel Garbers for example was the only woman to present at the High Level Military Doctrine Seminar among more than 20 male speakers. VOSCE’s constant efforts to secure the participation of highly qualified female speakers within the 1st dimension are important not only to shift the gender balance on panels but also to incorporate gender equality into the security sector. VOSCE will be taking on the role of 1st Dimension (pol-mil) chair for 2022, and will use this position to work to improve the gender balance of speakers in this area.

Priorities: Promote the increased representation of women at the OSCE

11.3 Target: By 2020, the 2004 OSCE Gender Action Plan is fully implemented by the OSCE Secretariat, with leadership by Canada.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/ Objective 1

Baseline:
Activity:
Indicator:
Completed Activities:
Results and Progress:

Up from 30% between 2015 and 2019, women occupied 42% of senior leadership positions of the OSCE by December 2020, exceeding the 2023 interim target of 30%. At the director levels women currently occupy four out of the seven existing posts. Representation of women in the senior contracted positions (professional) increased from 28% in December 2018 to 39% in December 2020, still short of the interim target of 50% in 2021. By contrast, the share of women leading OSCE field operations – which are all seconded positions – remains low at 20%.

While some progress has been made to increase women representation in leadership position and strengthen internal mechanism for gender equality, the full implementation of the 2004 OSCE Gender Action Plan remains a work in progress within the Organization. One of the most concrete actions Canada can take to increase gender equality is to put forward more Canadian women candidates for secondment and encourage more Canadian women to apply for contracted positions.

Bilateral engagement

Middle East

Middle East Strategy: On February 2, 2016, Cabinet approved the Whole of Government Strategy for Support to the Global Coalition Against Daesh, and Broader Engagement in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. The three-year Strategy (April 2016 – March 2019) integrates foreign policy, defence, and development so that Canada can make a modest but effective contribution to international efforts to help address the crises. The $2 billion commitment includes new funding of $1.5 billion, plus $0.6 billion in existing funding, to support Canada’s continuing efforts, to address immediate security threats while also providing support for the ongoing humanitarian crisis and longer-term development, security and stabilization needs in the region. Iraq and Syria are the main theatres of conflict and sources of instability in the region, while Jordan and Lebanon are the two neighbouring countries most at risk of destabilization, as they bear some of the greatest burden of the Syrian refugee crisis and face growing security concerns. In addition, Canada’s increasing support to experienced humanitarian partners in SRHR in emergencies, including in the Middle East, is helping to address gender-based gaps in access to reproductive health services; to integrate comprehensive GBV response and treatment in reproductive health; and provide safe spaces for women and girls. This whole-of-government Strategy is led by Global Affairs Canada, in partnership with the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

12. Middle East Development Programming

Context: This section pertains to the coordination and integration of the whole-of-government Strategy in the Middle East. Thus some targets below pertain more broadly to Humanitarian Assistance, Security and Stabilization, Diplomatic Engagement as well as Development. In 2019, the Government of Canada renewed the whole-of-government Strategy in the Middle East for an additional two years to March 2021.

The Middle East Development Program operates in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Like most of Canadian development programming over the past two and a half decades, it has made a concerted effort to advance gender equality objectives through its programming to reduce poverty and improve economic development, accelerate human and social development, defend human rights, build the capacity of women’s rights organizations, and create more equitable societies. The Middle East Development Program operates in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Priorities Increase mainstreaming of WPS and gender into development programming in Middle East
12.1 Target: Canada will significantly increase the percentage of programming that integrates gender perspectives for the four countries under the Middle East Strategy (2016-2022).

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator

Completed Activities:

Canada has significantly increased the percentage of development programming that integrates gender perspectives for the four countries in the Middle East Strategy (Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon), from 73% at the beginning of FY 2016/17 to 100% for the FY 2020/21.

Results and Progress:

In Iraq, Canada continued to advocate a gender-sensitive approach as a means of enhancing the overall effectiveness and sustainability of stabilization and security-related efforts and supported the development of Iraqi women’s collective capacity to contribute to stability and reconciliation at the local and governorate levels. With Canadian support, UNFPA has enabled 12,167 women and girls to access gender-based violence (GBV) services through women protection facilities in 12 districts of Iraq. 295 individuals, including GBV specialists, case managers, focal points and coordinators participated in writing GBV standard operating procedures. 31 social workers and case managers trained to provide GBV services through a hotline center. 400 health workers were trained on different reproductive health (RH) topics. 55 health facilities were supported with RH commodities and equipment.

In Lebanon, Canadian advocacy efforts, bilaterally and jointly with other donors, resulted in the meaningful integration of gender considerations, and the inclusion of women and civil society organizations in the implementation of the Lebanon Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework, that was developed in response to the Beirut port explosion. There was a gradual increase in sex-disaggregated data and gender analysis observed in reports of the government and UN partners. With Canada’s support to the World Bank Mashreq Gender Facility, the law criminalizing sexual harassment has been developed and adopted by Parliament.

In Jordan, Canada’s assistance helped create more economic opportunities for women and youth through skills development, and business support services, while addressing social and logistical barriers for Jordanian women. During the reporting period, more than 6,862 entrepreneurs, 99% of which were women, received business development training, financial planning, and access to markets. 158 jobs (64% held by women) were created and occupied by women, in health, childcare, solid-waste management and renewable energy sectors. Canada increased support to the Ministry of Education to improve strategic planning, monitoring and reporting on GE results, by providing financial resources and technical assistance to the Ministry’s Gender Division. 

Canada continues to support the Government of Jordan to implement its National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325 on Women Peace and Security (JONAP), advancing its priorities to prevent violent extremism (PVE), and reduce gender-based violence (GBV), while empowering women and girls. Through this support, 1,745 Jordanian and refugee women received training in community level mediation, dialogue and peacebuilding efforts, including sensitization on WPS, PVE and GBV. In addition, 12,875 women survivors of violence have increased access to GBV services including psychosocial assistance, and legal advice. Among them 1.5% (171 women survivors) benefited from quality shelter services in Amman.

With Canada’s support, through contributions to multi-donor funds, a number of Jordanian national institutions were able to develop and adopt the following gender mainstreaming policies, strategies and measures as follows:

Challenges:

In Iraq, institutions have suffered from the attrition effects of conflict, challenging their ability to formulate policies, design programs and deliver services, including in the areas of gender and reproductive health.

In Lebanon, the multilayered crisis facing the country over the past year delayed most programming and challenged GAC and partners in their GE advocacy efforts as the government was in crisis mode and did not consider gender to be a top priority. Nevertheless, Canada continued to push for the integration of gender and women’s voices in programming and the overall crisis response.

In Jordan, the main challenge faced by all implementing partners was dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lock downs, school closures, and limitation in movements hindered the continuation of a number of activities. This caused delays in the implementation of annual work plans for all projects, leading to most projects requesting no-cost time extensions. However, most of the partners were able to adapt to the new situation, and could use the projects’ resources, to some extent, for direct COVID-19 pandemic response. The transition to online learning/trainings/meetings and the use of technology were the main adaptation strategies, which in some cases facilitated access to services and training especially to women. This said, the technological transition became an extra hurdle for some women due to lack of tech-literacy, lack of privacy at home, lack of sufficient mobile devices in households, the prioritization of boys’ education, and the increased unpaid care burden on women.

Priorities: Undertake a gender stocktaking of programming and diplomatic engagement under whole of government Strategy
12.2 Target:
  1. Facilitate a common understanding of the GE context in the 4 Middle East Strategy countries, and provide a baseline inventory of GAC initiatives integrating GE.
  2. Changes to the baseline will be tracked.
  3. Identify options to improve the quality and effectiveness of GE efforts in a potential second phase of the Middle East Strategy after FY 2018/19, if approved by Cabinet.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track – 12.2.1, 12.2.2/Internal capacity and efficiency

  1. Target 12.2.1: Completed in 2018.
  2. Target 12.2.1: GE results are tracked and reported as part of the regular performance management and reporting cycle.
  3. Target 12.2.3: Completed in 2018 for the second phase of the Strategy with continuous improvements in progress with a GE Implementation Guide in development.

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

The Gender Equality Implementation Guide (GEIG) for the four countries under Canada’s Middle East Strategy (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) has been completed. In late 2020, final consultations were completed on the GEIG, and the Guide will be launched for internal use in 2021, with GEIG launch sessions planned to be held for next reporting cycle. Consistent with the Feminist Foreign Policy, the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), the GEIG will provide evergreen planning tools and best practice examples to program officers, including checklists and work plans to advance gender equality and women and girls' empowerment under the four pillars of the Strategy.

In March 2021, the International Assistance Evaluation Division of Global Affairs Canada released an evaluation report on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in the Middle East and the Maghreb. The findings and recommendations from this report will be integrated into programming and the performance management cycle to continue to improve the quality and effectiveness of ongoing efforts to advance gender equality.

During FY 2020/21, the Jordan Development Program continued to provide opportunities to its staff to improve their knowledge and skills of GE integration in programming, as well as monitoring and reporting on results that is in alignment with GAC’s priorities and results frameworks. The program also contributed to the Department’s efforts in advancing the GE agenda by providing input and feedback on HQ-led consultations and evaluation exercises related to GE and women’s empowerment.

Challenges:

The Jordan Development Program participated in an GAC Middle East Relations division-led Gender Equality Self-Assessment exercise, which revealed gaps and discrepancies among staff in knowledge, experience and skills especially regarding assessing key GE elements in thematic priorities; supporting better GE integration in projects’ Logic Models and Performance Measurement Frameworks; reporting requirements for GE; and understanding the GE coding system. The Program is keen to complete the Knowledge Building Framework developed in collaboration with GAC’s Gender Equality Division.

Support local women’s rights organizations and movements working to advance WPS and GE in the Middle East
12.3 Target: Canada establishes a mechanism through which to provide direct support to women’s rights organization in the four countries of the Middle East Strategy.

Assuming at least another 4 years to undertake implementation:

  1. Canada enhances advocacy by women’s rights organizations to advance WPS and GE in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan
  2. Canada improves the management, programming and sustainability of local women’s rights organizations in the four countries of the Middle East Strategy.
  3. Canada increases the effectiveness of sub-national, national and regional women’s rights platforms, networks, and alliances to affect policy, legal and social change

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track – 12.3.1, 12.3.2, 12.3.3/ Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

In Iraq, Canada supported the Iraqi Women’s Leadership Initiative, which is executed by Heartland Alliance International (HAI), by building the capacity of four women’s rights organizations which include: The People’s Development Organization (PDO) based in Sulaymaniyah; the Skilled Iraqi Women Foundation (SIWF) based in Muthanna; Al Manahil Association for Women Development (Al Manahil) in Basra; and the Women Leadership Institute (WLI) in Baghdad. The activities consisted of building the organizational, technical and advocacy capacity of these organizations to prioritize and address the implementation of existing laws and policies advocating for women’s rights. Also, Canada supported these women’s rights organizations to develop collaborative actions plans and an advocacy strategy to support the implementation of Iraq’s second National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325.

Moreover, this initiative successfully provided services to nearly 3,946 women, including survivors of GBV, through five resource centers in different cities. These centers supported social and economic protection for women by providing legal and mediation services, psychosocial support services, and skills-building opportunities to increase their livelihoods. For example, in the third year of the project, 2,523 women received mental health and psychosocial support services in response to incidences of GBV through outreach teams and resource centers. The centers also provided livelihood programs through vocational training and financial support to 120 women.

In Lebanon, with Canada’s and UN Women’s support, the Feminist Civil Society Platform – a group of 46 feminist activists and women's rights organizations in Lebanon that have come together calling for a gendered disaster response plan following the Beirut Port Explosion – was able to present their charter of demands to the diplomatic community and mobilize their support.

In Jordan, Canada continues to support the Government of Jordan implement its National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325 on WPS (JONAP), raising awareness about gender-based violence (GBV), WPS, working with women and girls, and men and boys. Through this support, four local women’s organizations received funding to develop and implement awareness campaigns that address gender-based violence and provide services to GBV survivors. Through the work of these organizations:

Challenges:

In Iraq, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the government facilities were closed, GAC’s partners (HAI and UNFPA) used alternate means (virtual meeting and cell phone calls) for coordination and communication with the stakeholders of the project including, beneficiaries and governmental officials.

In Jordan, approval for the WVL ME initiative was planned for the end of the reporting period, but due to the slow due diligence and approval process, the project could not be launched. This is mainly due to the complexity of this regional WVL which includes three countries with very different political and security contexts, and varying levels of development of their women’s rights movements. Because of these complexities, it was challenging and time consuming to find the right partner with the necessary field presence and expertise able to implement WVL ME in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts in Iraq
12.4 Target: Canada, through PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Iraq by ensuring that gender perspectives are integrated in 100% of projects.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target Achieved or Surpassed Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

100% of operational projects in Iraq during FY 2020/21 integrated gender perspectives, demonstrating Canadian support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Iraq. The projects below exemplify project activities that demonstrate support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Iraq.

Challenges:

PSOPs continues to support integration of women within the wider Iraqi security sector, including as direct participants in trainings. However, donor desires for quick progress must be tempered given the realities of gender disaggregation of Iraqi security service providers and generally conservative social norms. The inclusion of women in training is often itself a success toward gender equality, and each session in which women meaningfully participate supports the normalization of women within the security space. Care must be taken to ensure that women are not seen as “token additions” to satisfy dislocated international demands, which would further set back gender equality progress. It is better to identify fewer quality participants who can properly demonstrate the value added of gender equality to operational effectiveness than to force the inclusion of unprepared participants.

Background and activities of PSOPs in Syria:

Over the past 50 years, Syrian women have participated only symbolically (at best) in political life, as they have had few opportunities to play an active role. Today, more than ever, they have the opportunity to influence the transition to peace and to play a leadership role in the UN-led peace negotiations in Syria. Currently, the ongoing conflict is having a disproportionate impact on women and girls. PSOPs activities in Syria take into account the particular needs of girls, women, boys and men. It also provides opportunities for them to participate in decision-making in all activities aimed at promoting peace and security, in addition to helping women exercise decision-making power and leadership in peacebuilding. In addition, PSOPs activities play an active role in supporting women's active participation in the UN-led peace process, and in efforts to create links between women at the local level and those involved in the UN peace process.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts in Syria
12.5 Target: Canada, through PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Syria by ensuring that gender perspectives are integrated in 90% of projects.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Requires attention/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

The project ‘Support to the Syrian Women’s Political Movement’ seeks to increase Syrian women's effective political engagement through support to the Syrian Women’s Political Movement (SWPM), an advocacy organization established by politically active Syrian women. Gender Equality is at the center of this initiative as it specifically addresses power structures, root causes of violence and gender conflict in Syria. SWPM aims to establish a democratic and pluralistic state based on the principles of equal citizenship for all citizens regardless of their gender, race, religion, sect, geographic region or identity and works towards founding a State protected by a gender-sensitive constitution that forms the basis for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women at the political, legal, economic, social and cultural levels, and complies with all relevant international human rights treaties and conventions.

Through their interaction with regional and international media, participation in informal and formal meetings, organizing and coordinating both internally and with other feminist movements, SWPM continues to bring Syrian women’s experiences and concerns to the political process, shedding a light on issues of concern to women and girls and aiming to establish an alternative discourse to the ongoing narratives related to the Syrian political process.

By following a feminist and gender sensitive approach, the SWPM addressed the specific needs of women and girls in formal and informal meetings with UN agencies and states involved in the discussions related to Syria on the International domain, and at meetings with European Union departments in Brussels, regarding advancing the role of women in peace processes, and participation in the Syria transition and reconstruction talks. In addition, the SWPM has shed light – during its participation at these platforms, talks and meetings – on the continuous and systematic demographic alteration policies pursued by the Syrian regime, the violation of the rights of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees to their properties and jeopardizing their rights to a safe return to their homes; not to mention the continued coercion of young men to engage in the military conflict by both the regime and other de-facto forces in Syria.

Challenges:

Implementing projects in Syria remain challenging due to the lack of permissive operational space.  The Syrian regime and extremist organizations continued to be present in important areas of Syria, limiting international donor’s capacity to support women and women-led organizations.

13. Middle East Diplomatic Engagement

Iraq

Context: The Government of Iraq’s implementation of its’ NAP on UNSCR 1325 (2014-2018) has been limited. Currently, Iraq is in the process of developing the new 5-year Action Plan, but it is unclear whether the newly-formed government will show greater commitment to its implementation than the last one. Canada has recently expanded its diplomatic presence in Iraq, in both Baghdad and Erbil, and has increased somewhat it’s capacity to engage with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government on WPS issues. However, the security environment remains restrictive, posing challenges for Canadian diplomats to travel outside the main cities of Baghdad and Erbil to engage with local authorities and organizations.

Priorities: Advance WPS in Canadian diplomatic engagements in Iraq
13.1 Target: Canada promotes its WPS position and priorities to Iraqi government officials and stakeholders to increase awareness of WPS.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Timeline: Two years (to correspond with length of the Middle East Strategy, barring renewal)

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

On December 24, 2021, the Government of Iraq, with the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), the Department of Women’s Empowerment in the Secretariat supporting the Council of Ministers (PCO equivalent), and UN Women endorsed and launched the second Iraq National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and presented an outline for implementation.

On International Women’s Day 2021, at an event at parliament attended by the Ambassador, the President also ratified a new law on Yazidi Women Survivors that officially recognizes acts of genocide by Daesh against Yazidi and other communities. In doing so, Iraq became the first Arab state to focus institutional attention on female survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Through the new law, the government has committed to a comprehensive program of reparations, including individual and collective measures and material support for survivors. Canada has also recognized the Daesh crimes against Yazidis as a genocide and August 3 as a day of commemoration. Canada has also provided humanitarian support for vulnerable populations, including Yazidis, supported stabilization projects that benefit Yazidi communities, used the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) to support a new Yazidi women’s organization in Sinjar, and resettled to Canada 1400 Yazidi survivors of Daesh violence. It will be important for civil society and the international community to continue to monitor government funding for and implementation of both the law on Yazidi Women Survivors and the second National Action Plan on WPS/1325.

Canada has led by example in Iraq on WPS/1325. Canadian Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan was in command of the NATO Mission in Iraq (NMI) from November 2019 to November 2020. Through her outstanding leadership, skills, and expertise, she effectively modelled the value of deploying women in senior defense and security roles. Canada has also deployed male and female civilian and military Gender Advisors to OIR (the Coalition) and NMI. A senior female RCMP officer was one of the Canadians who served as Gender Advisor for the Global Coalition in Iraq, and led initiatives which included support for the Peshmerga Gender Reform Team in the Kurdistan Region.

In 2020, Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff also invited Iraq’s Chief of Defense Staff to join the Women, Peace and Security Chiefs of Defense Network. In January 2021, NMI planning started with the federal Ministry of Defense and the Canadian Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security on a Train the Trainer Course for Mainstreaming Gender Perspective in Defense to be delivered in June 2021 to senior faculty members of Iraqi’s defense learning institutions. The course was designed and run by Canadians in concert with NMI, and is expected to be integrated into mandatory MOD training curricula for the first time. The Embassy’s Canada Fund for Local Initiatives is also supporting an Iraqi NGO working in federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to launch a 1325 Alliance to monitor implementation of Iraq’s second WPS National Action Plan. The Director of the NGO Women Empowerment Organization also participated in the June 2021 NMI Train the Trainer pilot. 

Challenges:

It has been a challenge to maintain and build networks during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not impossible. With competing priorities shaped by the evolving situation on the ground, it has been necessary to focus on the most immediate challenges. For example, this year saw a governmental crackdown in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on freedom of the press and of expression, with over 100 detained (nearly all men). ERBIL led a group of diplomatic missions in communicating international concern to the government and calling for them to uphold their previously-stated commitments to human rights.

Nonetheless, ERBIL routinely raised WPS issues in meetings with KRI contacts, particularly the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls in the short, medium, and long-term. With a near-total focus of governmental institutions on dealing with the economic shocks of both the pandemic and collapse in oil prices (upon which the economy has near-total dependency), there was little willingness among governmental bodies to discuss WPS, seeing these issues as secondary. That said, there was widespread understanding that women and girls are differentially impacted, and that all kinds of GBV have increased against women and girls since the pandemic began in Iraq in February 2020. Civil society contacts have sounded the alarm repeatedly regarding increasing GBV and a loss of women in the formal work sector and they fear that ground lost on WPS issues during the reporting period will not be regained easily.

Consistent with the priority Canada attaches to providing gender-responsive humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable conflict-affected populations, the Embassy and the Ambassador engaged regularly with diplomatic missions, UN organizations (including UNAMI, OCHA, IOM, UNDP), and representatives of Government of Iraq on issues such as access for NGOs (delivering stabilization and humanitarian assistance in liberated areas, including support to IDP populations in Iraq - most of whom are women and children). This engagement has been part of a process to work constructively with the Government of Iraq to engage on its preoccupations and requirements with regard to NGO access and the provision of services to vulnerable camp populations, as well as on other sensitive issues such as camp closures and the return of Iraqi refugees from Northeast Syria.

Provide a platform for advancing WPS in stabilization efforts through the Global Coalition against Daesh’ Working Group on Stabilization
13.2 Target: Canada maintains efforts to advance WPS in the Global Coalition against Daesh’ Working Group on Stabilization.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 5

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

In FY 2020/21, there were fewer Global Coalition Against Daesh Working Group on Stabilization (WGS) meetings due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and competing Coalition priorities. When WGS meetings occurred, they were held virtually and with limited agendas. Where interventions could take place, they were focused on the top priorities, which included presenting the WGS stabilization priorities for the year and obtaining commitment from Coalition members to support continued stabilization efforts in both Iraq and Syria. Other competing priorities for the WGS included addressing the changes in conditions of the Iraqi operating environment, including threats to the Coalition, but particularly the need to support the returns and reintegration of persons perceived to be affiliated with Daesh. For example, previous events hosted by Canada as the WGS Gender Focal Point included workshops held on the margins of in-person WGS meetings, which were impossible in FY 2020/21.

The Head of Mission in Baghdad continued to advocate for the Government of Iraq to fund the second Iraqi National Action Plan (INAP) on WPS.

Challenges:

The most significant challenge to maintaining efforts to advancing WPS in the Global Coalition Against Daesh Working Group on Stabilization (WGS) during FY 2020/21 was the lack of opportunity. Where WPS meetings were held, they were held virtually which had the result of severely limited stakeholder intervention. The need for highly scripted and tightly managed interventions dissuaded any discussion other than the meeting’s top priority, and the reduced number of meetings ensured the focus of those few meetings were on topics that necessitated those meetings: namely, the need to ensure continued Coalition member support to stabilization efforts in Iraq and Syria and the commitment to ensuring a lasting defeat of Daesh. It is expected that as in-person meetings become more frequent, opportunities to perform Gender Focal Point interventions will increase.

Syria

Context: Canada works closely with like-minded partners and Syrian stakeholders towards reaching a political solution to Syria's protracted conflict. Seven tragic years of conflict have added significant challenges to, and led to a deterioration of, women rights and the situation of Syrian women and girls living in and outside the country (when displaced by the conflict). Canada has continued to be highly active in supporting the meaningful participation of women in Syrian peace negotiations, and meaningful participation of women’s organizations and networks in conflict prevention. Canada will continue to prioritize women’s empowerment and increased and meaningful participation in political dialogue and decision making as well as GE, inclusiveness and protection generally.

Priorities: Advance WPS in Canadian diplomatic engagements concerning Syria
13.3 Target: Canada promotes its WPS positions and priorities with Syrian stakeholders to increase awareness of WPS

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Timeline:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Canada continues to advocate in support of the WPS agenda as it relates to Syria at all levels: from local women’s rights NGO in northern Syria to the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Syria. In this reporting period, there were more than 15 specific high-level engagements aimed at building commitments and encouraging actions to advance WPS objectives.

Canada continues to identify and support Syrian partner organizations that are advancing WPS principles, including women’s participation in the peace process, by prioritizing engagements with Syrian women civil society leaders and women's organizations. Canadian officials met with the Syrian Women’s Political Movement, the women’s representative of the White Helmets, the Syrian Women’s Peace Movement, the Syrian Women’s Peace Network, Afaq Academy on Women’s Peace and Justice programs and the Syrian American Medical Society, among others.

In FY 2020/21, 16 Syria-related CFLI projects were implemented. All 16 contributed to Canada’s WPS objectives, with mandatory women’s empowerment and gender equality criteria. The results of these projects include the following:

Jordan

Context: Jordan has demonstrated support for and is implementing strategies that focus on women’s empowerment (National Strategy for Women and Government's Vision 2025). However, women still do not have the same legal status and rights as men. Discrimination, domestic violence, and child, early and forced marriage are enduring concerns, both in host communities and especially among Syrian refugees. Diplomatic advocacy continues to support Canada’s efforts to prioritize GE, women’s economic and political empowerment, inclusion, and protection.

Priorities: Advance WPS in Canadian diplomatic engagements in Jordan
13.4 Target: Canada promotes its WPS position and priorities to Jordanian government officials and Jordanian stakeholders to increase awareness of WPS.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Throughout the timeframe of this report, the Ambassador spoke at over 20 events on the importance of 1325 and women’s equality more broadly. 

The Ambassador was involved in negotiations involving other key donor heads of mission, the Jordan National Commission for Women and the Inter-Ministerial Committee to advocate for a robust and comprehensive National Women’s Strategy. While the Strategy’s release was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the final Strategy was widely seen as reasonably thorough and an indication of the Government of Jordan’s commitment to advancing women’s equality.

Through multiple programs and cross-cutting advocacy, the Embassy advocated for gender sensitive analysis, planning, and reporting in Ministries, supporting development of monitoring and evaluation tools to track progress. Largely due to Canadian efforts, there is now an impressive structure in place of positions for gender advisors in line Ministries and a Monitoring and Evaluation framework to track gender results. The Embassy continues to undertake advocacy to ensure that implementation and capacity development supports the frameworks. Canada’s role was highlighted when the Ambassador delivered remarks at the launching ceremony of the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Strategy for 2021-2025. Our partner, Forum of Federations, helped the Ministry revise its Strategy to make it gender-sensitive.

As Jordan expanded its National Aid Fund (NAF) to cover those in need due to the pandemic’s impact on poverty, concerns were expressed by women’s rights groups that the NAF excluded women-headed households in providing relief to more traditional family structures, (i.e. provided funding to the father and never the mother regardless of circumstances). The Ambassador raised this concern in bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister and several ministers. Any residual discrimination in how the NAF was administered has been resolved.

Lebanon

Context: Lebanon continues its slow and fragile transition from the civil war, addressing its many structural challenges including lack of good governance, high levels of corruption, limited economic growth, human rights limitations, and recurrent security challenges due notably to the presence of armed groups. While Lebanon appears fairly progressive compared to many other Arab countries with respect to many rights, some fundamental rights are still not fully recognized and respected. While the Lebanese government has remained focused on political and security issues, such efforts have slowed progress in a number of other areas, such as the improvement of women’s status in society, GE, human rights and good governance. While being one of the most vulnerable communities in the country, facing all of these challenges, including the influx of Syrian refugees, women have become advocates for social cohesion within and between communities. Under its Middle East Strategy, Canada has put GE, women’s protection, empowerment, and inclusiveness at the top of programming and advocacy efforts in Lebanon.

Priorities: Advance WPS in Canadian diplomatic engagements in Lebanon
13.5 Target: Canada promotes its WPS position and priorities to Lebanese government officials and stakeholders to increase awareness of WPS.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the overall Mission planning cycle, considerably limiting outreach and advocacy opportunities to advance Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) issues. Therefore, original plans had to be scaled back. Some meetings with local stakeholders were held late in the fiscal year, most of them virtually, while Mission’s social media was used to display Canadian contribution to stability and security.

Additional activities:

Results and Progress:

The massive explosion at the Port of Beirut in on August 4, 2020, while causing more delays, further highlighted the urgency of NAP-related efforts to enhance national resilience and recovery. Any recovery efforts in Lebanon must be inclusive of women in order to be sustainable.

Lebanon’s unprecedented socio-economic crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown have deepened gender inequalities and resulted in further delays on NAP progress. While women in Lebanon are at the forefront of many current initiatives aimed at making peace, gender inequality in Lebanon is uniquely intertwined with the political and social structures. Addressing gender equality and women’s rights issues in Lebanon is necessary to sustainably address the current multi-faceted crisis that the country is facing.

The participation of women in peace, security, and political processes, including in Lebanon’s parliamentary and municipal elections in 2022, is at the center of broader efforts to consolidate peace and bring stability to Lebanon.

Key challenges to implementation of Lebanon’s National Action Plan include:

Africa

14. South Sudan

Context: South Sudan is one of the world’s most fragile states and women and girls remain one of the most marginalized groups. Conflict continues to impact women and girls differently and disproportionately, and continues to violate their rights. Women are also consistently excluded from conflict prevention and peace activities. The South Sudanese government has a NAP on UNSCR 1325 (2015-2020), but its implementation capacity is limited. Given South Sudan’s extreme fragility, the political and security environment presents numerous challenges for programming and diplomatic engagement related to the WPS agenda.

Canada’s bilateral development assistance in South Sudan is focused on meeting the basic needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. Empowering women and girls and reducing gender inequalities is also at the core of Canada’s development approach. Canada’s programming supports the delivery of gender-sensitive basic health services, including maternal, newborn and child health, with increasing attention to SRHR. In particular, Canada is working with local partner organizations to empower women and girls to make their own decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence, and to positively influence attitudes and social norms related to SRHR. Canada is also supporting efforts to improve food security by boosting food production, protecting livelihoods, and strengthening community resilience to hunger, including by working directly with women farmers to increase their participation in production and marketing activities. Canada regularly engages with the Government of South Sudan to advocate for the needs and rights of women and children affected by the conflict. This includes an emphasis on protecting women and girls from high levels of SGBV, including the use of rape as a weapon of war. Canada also monitors the human rights situation for women and girls and actively engages advocates for the meaningful inclusion of women leaders in the peace process.

The PSOPs programming is taking into account the different needs of girls, women, boys and men, as well as their opportunities to participate in decision-making in all peace and security efforts. PSOPs is supporting women’s decision-making and leadership in peacebuilding and the efforts aimed at addressing the underlying root-causes of conflict and violence, particularly addressing unequal power relations and discrimination against women and girls.

Priorities: Increase the support to local women’s rights organizations in South Sudan
14.1 Target: Canada increases targeted support to local women’s rights organizations and movements working to empower women and girls and advance GE. By 2021/22, 15 women’s rights organizations and movements are supported by the bilateral development program and through CFLI.

Target achieved as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

During FY 2020/21, 16 women-led organizations received multi-year funding, which helped improve the management capacity of these organizations, as well as their capacity to undertake programming and advocacy to advance gender equality. These organizations also received training and coaching on financial management, governance, the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation, and project and grant management. With Canada’s support, most of the WLOs have been able to secure external funding, contributions and grants for project implementation that respond to the needs of women and girls in fragile and post-conflict situations.

An additional 16 women-led organizations were supported through Rapid Response Fund grants to respond to the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds have supported a wide variety of activities, including: COVID-19 related GBV awareness raising; preventative measures and access to GBV-related services; awareness raising on women’s and girls’ SRHR; and facilitation of participation by women and girls in COVID-19 pandemic related decision-making processes.

Challenges:

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Canadian Mission in Juba (JUBA) has experienced several human resources challenges. Despite these challenges JUBA is on track and has surpassed Target 14.1. JUBA will have dedicated team members for PSOPs and WPS issues starting in September 2021.

Priorities: Advance WPS in Canadian diplomatic engagements in South Sudan
14.2 Target: Canada increases advocacy on the WPS agenda in diplomatic engagement with South Sudan.

Target achieved as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Canada is among the most active members of the Juba Women, Peace and Security Working Group with Norway and Sweden as co-chairs. In addition, Canada is an active member of the Women Peace and Security Technical Committee. Canada worked within this forum to mobilize partners and leverage their advocacy on women, peace and security-related issues and opportunities.

In meetings with government interlocutors and political parties, including the office of the President, Canadian officials advocated for enhanced women’s participation in the peace process and in government institutions. While the cabinet has already been formed, ongoing emphasis is placed on state and local positions, and on parliament. This diplomatic work was complemented by advocacy in semi-public forums such as the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, and through public activities such as interviews and social media.

In March 2021, Canada co-hosted an International Women’s Day event with the South Sudanese Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs and the Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare on assessing progress on the 35% commitment on women’s representation since the establishment of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU). The event supported Canada’s women peacebuilders campaign by amplifying the voices of two women peacebuilders and led to several #PeacebyHer pledges.

Challenges:

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, JUBA experienced several human resources challenges which impacted the ability to work in WPS throughout the reporting period. Despite these challenges, JUBA actively worked towards achieving the target by leading on several WPS advocacy initiatives. JUBA will have a dedicated team member for PSOPs and WPS issues starting in September 2021.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts  in South Sudan
14.3 Target: Canada, through PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in South Sudan by ensuring that WPS principles and gender perspectives are integrated into 100% of projects.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target Achieved or Surpassed/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Between April 01, 2020 and March 31, 2021:

Challenges:

Results and Progress:

Zero GE01, three GE02 and one GE03 projects were supported by PSOPs during this reporting period.

The Senior Gender Advisor to the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan continues to ensure that the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan has the gender analysis and tools needed to facilitate its work as the chief mediator of the national peace agreement. She also continues to mobilize women groups and networks across South Sudan and in the diaspora to engage with the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The Senior Gender Advisor ensures that all gender provisions implemented take into account gender issues and women’s empowerment. She participates in and provides technical expertise at various high-level meetings, including meetings with: the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, the Chairperson of IGAD, the Sudan Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Security Advisor for the President of South Sudan, FemWise-Africa, various Vice Presidents for South Sudan and opposition leaders, on the women, peace and security strategy.  Key results of this high-level advocacy have resulted in resolving women’s issues in the training centers and ensuring women’s representation in the last nomination for the National Transitional Legislative Assembly.  In addition, she has also provided technical support in the design and facilitation of various workshops, including one on experience sharing for female mediators across the IGAD region; as well as between the South Sudanese women signatories to the R-ARCSS and the Sudanese women signatory to the Sudan Peace Agreement.  The latter provided an opportunity for women leaders from both countries to exchange information about their roles in the transitional processes of their respective countries.

Challenges:

Focus on the R-ARCSS stipulated 35% minimum women’s participation quota has led to the inclusion of more women within the peace process, however, there is a challenge to translate this increased physical “representation” to meaningful participation within the peace process and state-building initiatives.

The women who enrolled in the training centers faced many challenges among them such as sanitary facilities, separate bathrooms for women, special places for lactating mothers and places to keep their kids (some of the women are accompanied with children). These challenges were discussed with the VP and the Security Advisor for the President to address them and provide the needed support for women. Both the VP and the Security Advisor promised to address these challenges; however, so far, no action has been taken.

15. Burundi

Context: In April 2015, President Nkurunziza of Burundi announced that he would be running for a third term in the election planned later that year. Burundian authorities engaged in systematic and brutal repression of any form of dissent to President Nkurunziza’s decision, and this crackdown intensified following the May 2015 coup attempt. Large segments of Burundi’s population, the political opposition, and many members of the international community deemed his decision unconstitutional and in contravention of the 2000 Arusha Agreement. According to reports from the UN, local and international NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the violence orchestrated by President Nkurunziza’s regime has targeted many groups and individuals perceived as opponents of the regime. Women and girls have been the target of SGBV, notably rape, principally from the Imbonerakure youth militia.

As Canada does not have a physical diplomatic presence in Burundi, visits to the country and information-gathering from bilateral and multilateral partners on the political and humanitarian situation are a significant part of how Canada scopes out opportunities for diplomatic or programmatic action and advocacy on Burundi. Therefore, in order to ensure that the needs, interests and challenges of Burundian women and girls are taken into consideration in the development of Canada’s plans and actions in Burundi, Canadian officials reporting on Burundi will ensure that their conflict analysis integrates gender perspectives and gender-based concerns, specifically those related to women and girls.

Priorities: Increase Canada’s knowledge of issues pertaining to women and girls in the context of the conflict in Burundi
15.1 Target: Canada increases its understanding of the differential impact of the conflict on Burundian women, men, boys and girls. At least half (50% per FY) of reports and analytical products, produced by the mission in Kigali and/or Global Affairs Canada headquarters, relating to the situation in Burundi, will integrate and/or address gender-based perspectives.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

As described in the annual report for the FY 2019-20, Kigali, as a micro-mission, faces significant resource challenges towards meaningful implementation of the 15.1 target as originally stated.

Kigali is not located in the target country and Canada’s ability to influence Burundi, including on gender issues, is limited. Canada's engagement on gender issues in the context of development aid and humanitarian support is also limited, and mostly performed remotely through headquarters, due to the nature of mechanisms used (e.g. absence of a bilateral development program), and limited mission capacity.

Challenges:

In 2020-21, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on travel and face-to-face meetings, added to the challenges of implementing activities.

16. Democratic Republic of Congo

Context: Canada provides humanitarian and development assistance to the DRC to address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, including those affected by the country’s ongoing conflict and state fragility.  Canada’s development assistance aims to improve the health of women and children, advance their rights, increase their political, economic and social empowerment, and support democratic governance and peaceful pluralism. Canada’s programming in the DRC includes efforts to combat SGBV at the national and regional levels, with a focus on provinces affected by conflict in the Eastern region. Programming is aligned with the DRC’s National Strategy to Combat GBV (2009). Through projects and policy dialogue, Canada advocates for the rights of women and girls, women’s empowerment and the end to impunity for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based crimes and promotes social behavioural change. Projects provide health, psychosocial and legal services and assistance to survivors of SGBV, strengthen key national institutions, and support local women’s organization to advance gender equality and women’s rights. More broadly, Canada engages in policy dialogue with the DRC government, the donor community and other stakeholders on a broad range of issues related to women’s rights and participation in society, including the fight against SGBV. This includes advocating for greater commitment by the DRC government on the prevention of SGBV and the fight against impunity, improving donor collaboration, promoting coherent efforts and approaches, and increasing protection measures for women and girls affected by the country’s regional conflicts.

Priorities: Increase the number of leaders committed to and engaged in the fight against all forms of sexual and GBV in the DRC
16.1 Target: Canada engages with key DRC stakeholders in the prevention and behavioural change efforts in order to strengthen their commitment to address the root causes of SGBV

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Since 2006, Canada has been engaged in the fight against SGBV through its various initiatives, the most recent of which are the SGBV Project: Justice, Empowerment and Dignity of Women and Girls and Women's Voices and Leadership (WVL) in the DRC which are national in scope. The development and launch of these projects has deepened the dialogue with key actors in the Congolese women's movement on gender equality and the best approaches to address the root causes of SGBV.

In FY 2020/21, the Canadian Embassy in the DRC supported a number of SGBV awareness-raising activities with various stakeholders in the DRC. These included:

Challenges:

It is important to note the slowness of the DRC government to implement the concrete actions put forth through this policy dialogue. However, it must be recognized that on a small scale, changes in the status of women and girls are being observed at the national, provincial and local levels through the involvement of, among others, the country's political and administrative authorities.

Priorities: Increase the availability and use of health, psychosocial and protection services for survivors of SGBV in the DRC
16.2 Target: Canada supports the measures outlined in DRC’s National Strategy to Combat GBV (2009) to increase national leadership and coordination and make services available to survivors of SGBV.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Through Canadian-funded initiatives, coordination spaces exist to effectively discuss, exchange and find joint solutions to SGBV challenges. These include the inter-donor group on gender and the sub-cluster on SGBV, where Canada is very active, as well as the spaces for coordination at the provincial level within the framework of the project Fighting SGBV: Justice, Empowerment and Dignity for Women and Girls.

Challenges:

It is important to note that the SGBV: Justice, Empowerment and Dignity of Women and Girls project has been over-programmed and is not in line with the available budget. This situation could jeopardize the achievement of some of the project's results. Regarding the Integrated Multi-Sectoral Service Centers (IMSCs) for SGBV survivors, future government funding for these structures may not be assured. For this reason, Canada's ambassador to the DRC is contributing to the policy dialogue in collaboration with JED partners so that the DRC government and other development partners can take ownership of this approach to survivor care and that it be officially integrated into the national protocol for the management of sexual and gender-based violence.

In December 2020, Canada completed its leadership role in the Call to Action to address SGBV in humanitarian settings. This provided another forum for Canada to engage in policy dialogue to advance women's rights and the fight against SGBV in the DRC.

The DRC government also continued its participation in the steering committee of the joint evaluation of the SGBV sub-sector. In addition, with the results of this evaluation, the national Ministry of Gender, Family and Children has agreed to review and enrich the National Strategy to Combat SGBV to improve its effectiveness and scope. Government actors are also participating in the inter-donor gender group, as well as the sub-cluster on SGBV and the Call to Action against Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Settings.

Priorities: Support the empowerment of women and girls in preventing/addressing SGBV in the DRC
16.3 Target: Canada continues to advance a portfolio of projects to advance the rights of women and girls, women’s empowerment, and the implementation of the WPS agenda in DRC.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Canada supports nine active projects that advance women's and girls' rights, women's empowerment, and the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Program in the DRC that are coded GE02 or GE03:

At the more specific level of peace and security, Canada has been able to:

Partnership for Innovation

Through the project Femmes de courage - Femmes, paix et sécurité en RDC  , KAIROS and its local partner are enabling individuals and organizations that advocate for women's human rights to participate effectively in post-conflict development, peace and security processes.  Key activities are: 1) psychosocial and legal support to help survivors recover and seek justice for the physical and psychological violence they have experienced; 2) training for individuals and organizations advocating for women's human rights on gender analyses and national and international human rights frameworks as well as organizational capacity building; 3) improving the 2nd generation of the National Action Plan and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; 4) holding South-South exchanges to facilitate networking, mutual learning and skills development.

Stabilization and Peace Operations Program(PSOPs)

Mission Discretionary Fund (MDF/MIP)

Activities related to the 16 Days of Activism, in partnership with other embassies, such as the November 2020 event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325.

Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) (2020/21)

All of our projects have gender equality as a cross-cutting theme. Some projects were particularly related to the theme:

  1. CDJP (Bukavu): Strengthening the participation of women and youth for the improvement of local governance through the creation of space for dialogue for conflict prevention. The project, focused on peacebuilding, strengthens local community mechanisms for good governance, social cohesion and the promotion of a culture of peace and human rights.
  2. Mbongi ya Nsobolo (Isangila, Central Kongo): The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of 40 women from ISANGILA, 10 from each group. The capacities strengthened concern the prevention and mediation of land conflicts through participatory mapping workshops as well as the use of traditional mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of land conflicts.
  3. REAFECOM: Empowerment and security of women and girls in Mambasa territory, DRC, through dialogue and community engagement for non-violence against women. The goal of this project is to increase the empowerment and security of women and girls through the promotion of gender equality and empowerment, and the prevention and mediation of conflicts in the mining areas of Mambasa territory, DRC.

Results and Progress:

In FY 2020/21, the majority of active projects fully integrate gender equality or make it their primary focus (including two GE03 projects and three GE02 projects).

Challenges:

The change of government in April 2021 represents a challenge in managing these projects. The relationship between Canada and the DRC needs to be rebuilt and solidified. In addition, FCIL's CDJP (South Kivu) and REAFECOM (Ituri) projects must operate in complex environments where general violence and GBV persist or are on the rise.

17. Mali

Context: Since 2012, Mali has been facing profound governance, development and security challenges. Instability is persistent and is progressing, while the security context is becoming more complex. While Mali’s fragility is more noticeable in the north and increasingly so in the centre of the country, the country as a whole is still in a very precarious situation. In the north and centre, humanitarian and development organizations’ access to civilian populations remains a challenge. The government and most armed groups in the north signed a Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in June 2015, but there has been slow and uneven implementation of the accord and increasing attacks by terrorist groups. Despite the presence of the French CT force, and a large UN peacekeeping mission, the country continues to face serious threats to its stability and security. Traditionally, women in Mali have been active behind the scenes in resolving conflict in their communities. However, very few women and women’s groups have participated in peacebuilding activities and fewer still have been actively involved in the formal peace process in Mali.

In FY 2018/19, Mali was the second-largest recipient of Canadian international assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Canada is engaged in policy dialogue with the Government of Mali, the donor community and other stakeholders on a broad range of issues related to women’s rights and participation in society, and Canadian development assistance is intended to help the country build a brighter future for its people by concentrating on access to sexual and reproductive health care services; nutrition; improving the quality of education and vocational training; increasing agricultural productivity; and better governance and accountability. This also includes support to Mali’s transitional justice and national reconciliation process.  Canada is an active member of the donor coordination groups in Mali and maintains an ongoing and open dialogue with Malian authorities. Canada is also co-leading the GE donor coordination group and uses this platform to promote the rights and empowerment of women and girls.  Canada also uses other platforms and networks (e.g. International Women’s Day, VIP visits, sector committees and working groups, the Francophonie) to show its support for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Mali and also the implementation of the Mali national gender plan, which was developed with Canada’s assistance.

Priorities: Support the increased and meaningful participation of women in reconciliation and conflict prevention and enhance women’s access to justice in Mali
17.1 Target:

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track – 17.1.1, 17.1.2/Objective 3 and 1

The JUPREC project, which ended on March 31, 2020, met or exceeded most of its targets, many of which correspond to the targets outlined in the Action Plan implementation plan.

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

In addition, through PSOPs’ Support to the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission for the Stabilization of Mali (SCVJR, 2019-2021) initiative, 86 victims of human rights violations, including 71 women, have been represented before national or supranational courts. SCVJR has enabled 1,480 women (almost 60%), 377 men, 496 girls (20%) and 134 boys to benefit from protection, awareness-raising and mobilization of victims to give their statements in the regions of Mopti, Gao and Kidal, while 76 victims of gender-based violence, including 64 women, have benefited from group therapy, individual interviews and awareness-raising sessions.

Quote on leaders' satisfaction that a diversity of actors were involved in conflict resolution under JUPREC:

"[before] conflicts were only managed by imams; but now, other actors (women and youth) participate in conflict management" and speak up to express their needs before traditional leaders."

"Women know their rights, they are trained and there is understanding in the homes. Men used to prevent women from going out, participating in development activities and meeting in associations, but today there is a clear improvement."

Mr. Macalou, Secretary General of the TRCJ, on March 10, 2021, on the work of solidifying the database of victims' statements (Output 1113):

"CBSA's support allowed us to see the potential of the victim statement database, how we could analyze it to extract the consequences and causes of conflicts."

Results and Progress:

At its conclusion in March 2020, JUPREC led to:

In addition, through Canada's support to the MINUSMA Trust Fund, 21 women have been included in the monitoring mechanisms of the peace agreement in Mali. Previously, there were no women represented. 

Complementing the results of JUPREC, the SCVJR initiative has resulted in:

These projects will give way to the new Support for Justice and Peace in Mali project (2021-2025), supported by GAC and implemented by Lawyers Without Borders Canada, which will build on these gains and expand on this target 7.1. The project aims to combat impunity, increase access to legal aid services, and ensure that women, girls, and other vulnerable people (VHP) realize their human rights in the context of gender equality, reconciliation, and peace in Mali.

As part of the initiative to strengthen security governance in northern and central Mali, out of 86 community dialogue sessions held in Mali with 135 women and 265 men, at least 16 dealt with the role of women and/or youth in conflict prevention and resolution and/or dynamics that particularly affect women or are gender-related, such as discrimination in education, early marriage, or gender-based violence. The inclusion and representation of women in government institutions in Mali, however, continues to be a significant challenge. 

In Mali, in a project with Avocats Sans Frontières Canada, the support mechanism for civil society organizations made it possible to strengthen the involvement of women and girls (115/209 or more than 55% of the mobilization beneficiaries) in the transitional justice process through their participation in the work of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

2,477 people, the majority of whom were women: 1,480 women (59.74%), 377 men, 496 girls (20.02%), and 134 boys benefited from protection, awareness-raising, and mobilization of victims to give their statements in the regions of Mopti, Gao, and Kidal.

76 victims of gender-based violence, including 64 women, benefited from group therapy, individual interviews and awareness sessions.

Out of 86 community dialogue sessions organized in Mali by International Alert with 135 women and 265 men, at least 16 sessions dealt with the role of women and/or youth in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and/or with dynamics that particularly affect women or are related to gender, such as discrimination in education, early marriage or gender-based violence.

The inclusion and representation of women in government institutions in Mali continues to be an important challenge.  An important advance is the inclusion of 21 women in the monitoring mechanisms of the Mali peace agreement, thanks to Canadian financial support.  Previously, there were no women represented. 

Challenge:

While JUPREC has undoubtedly contributed to the fight against GBV, impunity and corruption, and to better access to justice for women, minors and other people affected by the crisis, major challenges remain to achieve optimal respect for rights in Mali. At the end of the project, the increase in violence and human rights violations, as well as the deterioration of the security situation in the country, demonstrates that the fight against impunity and the support of victims are still necessary in Mali. 

PSOPs is making progress towards these targets in Mali, working to increase women’s access to justice and increasing the participation of women in the peace process.  However, it is challenging to make significant gains in these areas within a socio-political context dominated by men.  Additionally, implementation of key elements of the Algiers Accord is stalled, compounded by the August 2020 coup and continuing political turmoil.

Priorities: Advance WPS in Canadian diplomatic engagements in Mali
17.2 Target: Increased advocacy and engagement with interlocutors, including government officials, on Canada’s WPS position and priorities on WPS in Mali.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

The Roundtable on the Rebuilding of the State held on March 15, 2021, was an opportunity for Canada to encourage the Government of Mali to establish a dialogue with all civil society actors, including women and girls, to better take their needs into account, and to involve them in the elaboration, implementation and monitoring-evaluation of development policies and programs. Canada has led ongoing advocacy, including in FY 2020/21, to promote commitment to gender equality, including as co-chair of the Gender and Women's Empowerment Thematic Group (GWEG), which is the technical and financial partners' coordination group on gender equality.

Through its operational projects in the area of inclusive governance, the Mali Development Program continuously supports various advocacy and awareness-raising actions in favor of women's participation in peace processes, the defense of rights, and the fight against impunity, corruption and gender-based violence.

Challenges:

The coup d'état in Mali on August 18, 2020, brought institutional instability that complicated advocacy efforts with Malian authorities. To combat transmission of COVID-19, the government of Mali implemented measures to restrict gatherings, which impacted some planned outreach activities.

The examples of results above demonstrate Canada's sustained and responsive engagement with the evolving Malian context in advocacy, awareness raising, and stakeholder engagement on GE issues and respect for democratic principles and human rights, both in its coordination and dialogue activities and through GAC-funded development project activities.

However, it is unlikely that the deep and complex crisis in Mali will give way to a full resolution of instability and peace in 2022. Moreover, this situation presents a barrier to increased advocacy and engagement with interlocutors, including government officials, on Canada's position and priorities for WPS in Mali.

Priorities: Support women’s political, social and economic empowerment in Mali
17.3 Target: Canada’s development initiatives promote the empowerment of women and girls, including increasing women’s political, social and economic empowerment.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

By 2020-21, 100% of bilateral development assistance to Mali was addressing GE. Of 32 projects operational and in final stages of completion, 10 projects (31%) targeted GE as a primary outcome (EG-03), 16 projects (50%) were fully integrated (EG-02), and 6 projects (19%) were partially integrated (EG-01).

Overall, the projects in the development program contribute to funding with core objectives related to women's rights, economic empowerment, leadership, access to essential services such as education and health, and control over resources, including capacity building of key government ministries and support to civil society. All of the projects target changes in behavior and practices that contribute to GE.

This represents progress from last year. In 2019-20, out of 23 operational projects, 6 projects targeted GE as a primary outcome (GE-03), 14 projects were fully integrated (GE-02), and 3 projects were partially integrated (GE-01).

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts in Mali
17.4 Target: Canada, through its PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Mali by ensuring that WPS principles and/or gender perspectives are integrated in 80% of projects.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target Achieved or Surpassed/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Canada continued to support two gender advisor positions in MINUSMA to ensure WPS priorities were mainstreamed in UN peace operations in Mali. The gender advisors supported the training of UN staff on Gender in Peacekeeping Operations, holding a total of 16 training sessions for 983 civilian and uniform participants, of which 184 participants were women.

In coordination with the broader United Nations family, as well as the international community, the Gender Advisors supported the Malian Ministry of Women Affairs in the adoption of a new national action plan on Women, Peace and Security 2019-2023, signed on 12 November, 2020.

Finally, the Gender Advisors continued to support the meaningful participation of women in the political and peace processes in Mali. At the beginning of the project in 2018/2019, there were zero women out of 14 members constituting the Peace Agreement Monitoring Committee (CSA); two women in the four CSA sub-committees; zero women out of 42 members in the Integration Commission and one woman out of 34 members in the National Commission for Weapons, Demobilisation, for a total of three women. As of November 2020, there were 9 women involved in the Peace Agreement Monitoring Committee. Representation grew from 3% to 31%.

Challenges:

COVID 19 slowed down the process to approve new projects in FY 2020/21, 5 news projects in Mali are currently under review at different stages.

In November 2020, one of the gender advisors supported by the project accepted an offer for a deputy representative position at the UN Women office in Mali. This loss of capacity, while beneficial to the country as a whole, affected the pace of work that had begun in the mission. Supported by other UN staff members, the second gender advisor was able to continue advancing the mainstreaming of the WPS priorities in MINUSMA until the arrival of a replacement about four months after, due to lengthy UN recruitment processes.

Latin America and the Caribbean

18. Guatemala

Context:  In 2016, Guatemala commemorated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords formally ending a 36-year internal armed conflict that left over 200,000 people dead and over one million people displaced, the majority of whom were Mayan Indigenous Peoples. Unfortunately, many of the underlying causes of the armed conflict are yet to be resolved. Achieving GE and the full exercise of women’s and girls’ rights remain a significant challenge in Guatemala’s society that is largely dominated by men. Discrimination and racism particularly affect Indigenous women and girls. VAW is widespread: Guatemala has the third highest rate of femicide in the world. The promotion, protection and respect for the rights of women and girls are at the centre of Canada’s development programming in Guatemala.  Canada seeks to strengthen:

Canada will use all programming channels and diplomatic tools available to advance this work including policy dialogue with Guatemalan state officials, civil society, especially women’s organizations, and with the international donor community. 

Priorities: Support a gender-responsive approach to transitional justice, reconciliation and security sector reform in Guatemala
18.1 Target: Canada improves institutional capacity for gender-sensitive criminal investigations in Guatemala.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Five initiatives supported by Canada worked to strengthen gender-sensitive criminal investigations in Guatemala. One new initiative was approved:

The projects have supported training of a total of 2778 state authorities involved in justice related issues (1926 women and 852 men) on women’s rights and gender-sensitive justice in regards to criminal investigation, preventions of violence against women and human trafficking.

Results and Progress:

Results from programming in FY 2020/21 that strengthens gender sensitive criminal investigations include:

Challenges:

Externally, Judicial results depend on the courts and the willingness of justice actors to move cases forward and apply international human rights standards. Judicial independence has been an issue with independent judges receiving threats. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded judicial backlogs and the number of cases presented and the number of condemnatory sentences has seen a decline. This however has not stopped implementing partners from advancing processes of evidence gathering, preparation of judicial arguments, institutional strengthening and capacity-building activities, policy development and advocacy work. Internally, the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions limited physical monitoring of projects and possibilities of trail observation.

18.2 Target: Canada increases women’s and girls’ access to justice and use of justice support services, particularly in cases related to SGBV.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Canada is supporting three projects that include components on providing women survivors of violence (and other human rights violations) with access to gender-sensitive legal, psychological and other justice-related social services. 

In 2020-21 the implementing partners of the “Women’s Rights and Gender Sensitive Justice” project provided psychosocial support services to 534 Indigenous women and 96 mestizo women, legal accompaniment to 504 Indigenous women and 224 mestizo women and economic empowerment support to 495 Indigenous women victims of violence. Also, 497 men (community leaders, academics, social organizations) participated in a virtual process on positive masculinities to transform their relationship with women and girls.

The “Strengthening the Rights of Indigenous and other Discriminated Women in Guatemala” project provided psychological and legal support to the families of the 41 victims and 15 survivors of a fire in a State-run home for children. Three local women’s and human rights organizations received $14,000 each in 2019 to provide these specialized services to the victims/survivors. Two of the organizations received no-cost extensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic until late 2021. The other was able to fully implement the resources provided. 

Canada also continued its support to the “Technological Platforms to Strengthen Public Responsibility and Citizen Participation” project to improve access to and the quality of, standardized services to crime victims - focusing particularly on women, children, minorities and vulnerable people who have been victims of violence. The project unifies the efforts of government institutions and civil society that provide services in Guatemala through a web portal for victims. In FY 2020/21 the project worked in close collaboration with the Public Prosecutor’s Victims Attention Department and civil society to finalize a website which was launched on March 24, 2021, (AYUDA.gt) with the participation of the Canadian Ambassador and Guatemalan Attorney General. This website provides information on how and where to denounce acts of violence, organizations that can support victims including Indigenous ancestral authorities, advice on how to protect oneself, an auto-evaluation of risk for violence and how others can help victims of violence. The event and content of AYUDA.gt site was covered by numerous local media outlets and a national campaign to direct people to the site was also launched. All site material has been translated into four Indigenous languages. A focus group of 134 people (87.3% women and 12.7% men) were consulted on the website pages and 84.3% positively rated the content. This project has also developed on-line self-directed courses for Public Ministry and Victim Services Network providers on how to improve service delivery for vulnerable victims of violence and is soon to launch a Web app which allows victims service professionals to securely access and add information to victim files from multiple technological devices, including their phones.

The Embassy of Canada to Guatemala has used a variety of advocacy tools to raise awareness about the rights of women and girls and especially Indigenous women and girls to access justice in a post-conflict society. These include:

Challenges:

Externally, the COVID-19 pandemic made traditional service delivery much more difficult for partner organizations.  The first months of the fiscal year were spent making adjustments to on-line services or preparing the sanitary conditions to be able to provide in-person services in some cases reducing the number of beneficiaries. Internally, the Embassy team was at approximately 60% staffing capacity during most of the year due to the departure of several Canada-Based Staff in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic evacuations and the vacancies of numerous Locally-Engaged Staff positions. This combined with travel and meeting restrictions and time spent on addressing the humanitarian situation made it difficult to conduct advocacy activities although many creative virtual and/or social distanced activities were achieved.

Priorities: Promote respect for women’s and girls’ human rights in Guatemala
18.3 Target: Canada increases the knowledge and exercise of women’s and girls’ human rights, including SRHR.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

The “Women’s Rights and Gender Sensitive Justice” project includes components on training and accompaniment of women and the local women’s organizations that support them as well as community leaders, to exercise their rights. In 2020-21, 229 activities on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) directly reached 4,320 people (of which 3,264 are women and girls and 484 are men and youth), the majority of whom are Indigenous. In addition, communication campaigns carried out by the partner organizations on SGBV reached more than 540,000 people. Eighty-three Indigenous ancestral authorities in alliance with 225 Indigenous midwives attended 44 cases of SGBV in the department of Sololá putting into practice training models received.

Through the “Strengthening the Rights of Indigenous and other Discriminated Women in Guatemala” project, a total of 213 women participated directly in strategic litigation processes.  These women represented a broader membership of their organizations of more than 17,000 women in Guatemala, most of whom are Indigenous. Of these 142 women have received training in 2020-21 on international human rights norms and standards. The women have actively participated in the elaboration of strategies, proposals and plans to advance their cases. Indigenous women weavers prepared a legislative proposal, consulted amply among their network and sought technical support from the UN organization responsible for collective intellectual property. Indigenous midwives negotiated with health authorities who released an Action Plan 2021-2025 for the National Midwives Policy of the Four Peoples of Guatemala which was made public in January 2021. Additionally, 15 survivors and 71 family members of the 41 girls who died in a fire in a State-run children’s home have participated in the preparations of court proceedings and negotiations with State authorities to ensure non-repetition and improved conditions in State facilities.

Women’s Voice and Leadership [$2M, 2019-2023] project began implementation during the pandemic and is working with a grassroots umbrella Indigenous women’s network, Tz´ununija. The project is supporting 20 Indigenous women’s organizations representing approximately 2,400 participants. Tz´ununija´ is working to establish bridges for dialogue and advocacy with local governments and with justice officials to adopt differentiated protocols for Indigenous women to address racism and discrimination. In 2020-21, eight Indigenous women rights organizations have improved their governance and management practices. A total of 14 women from Indigenous women’s rights organizations are now participating in decision-making spaces at the community, municipal, departmental or national levels.

Strong efforts were made to include a better use of the gender-based analysis guide in the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) in 2020-21. Information on the meaning of GBA Plus was shared with potential beneficiaries from the beginning, to ensure it was integral part of project planning cycles. Beneficiaries understood the concept better, which led to projects with greater social, cultural and gender relevance. The positive results are consistent with what was initially stated in the proposals, positioning gender as the central point of inclusive development. (See story www.guatemala.gc.ca) Regular CFLI projects included the participation of 113 women and 2314 girls that were mostly focused on economic empowerment. Humanitarian projects responding to two hurricanes supported 8069 Indigenous women providing them with personal care and hygiene kits, food supplies, recovery of their civil documents and culturally pertinent clothing that is essential to their identify and personal wellbeing. COVID-19 projects supported 4076 frontline health workers with biosecurity supplies.

Challenges:

Externally, the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge throughout the year for women and girls to actively participate in trainings and human rights actions due to mobility restrictions and economic hardships. Most partners found virtual options to support processes but many also engaged participation locally with socially distanced activities. Internally, Embassy resources were stretched and funding priorities focused primarily on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and response to two hurricanes that caused loss of life and heavy damage in the country’s poorest department of Alta Verapaz.

19. Haiti

Context: Despite the absence of conflict, Haiti remains a fragile state marked by weak institutions, political volatility, control of the economy by a handful of private interests, and vulnerability to natural disasters and external shocks.

Addressing issues relating to women’s rights, GE, and women's participation in decision-making spheres is a stark challenge within Haitian society. The promotion, protection and respect for the human rights of women and girls and for issues relating to WPS take on special importance in this context, and will be an important part of Canada’s development programming in Haiti in each of its priority sectors. In this context, Canada will continue its efforts to strengthen:

As women and girls play a key role in their communities’ development, the programs’ and projects’ focus on those priorities (i.e. ongoing projects and planned projects that will be submitted for approval) will help to improve the economic, social and political well-being of women and girls so that they can fully play their role in the Haitian society. Canada will promote and support the empowerment of women in meaningful decision-making spheres and will develop specific initiatives for the promotion and protection of and respect for the rights of women and girls

Canada will continue to foster sectoral initiatives in which GE will be strongly integrated, and will also engage in a policy dialogue with the government of Haiti, Haitian civil society (especially women’s organizations), and the donor community, on the rights of women and girls, chiefly in the three priorities mentioned above. The Haitian state has a weak capacity to address SGBV, Canada thus supports initiatives that address SGBV issues and that encourage the presence of women in decision-making platforms relating to such issues. The achievement of objectives associated with these priorities depends in large part on the approval of projects currently in the planning stage.  The following indicators, baselines and targets will be considered, and further indicators, baselines and targets will also be provided following consultations with civil society.  Moreover, efforts will be undertaken to identify these indicators, baselines and targets and ensure their measurability.

Furthermore, Canada, through its PSOPs, will engage in efforts designed to strengthen Haiti’s public governance institutions in the security and justice sectors and proactively target violence prevention efforts to effectively enforce security and protect the human rights of its citizens. For example, PSOPs will support the engagement and participation of women/girls at all levels of decision-making; prevent VAW/girls and promote women’s rights; provide gender-sensitive training; and give women and girls access to and control over resources.

Priorities: Women’s socio-economic empowerment through economic and civic engagement of women in decision-making spheres
19.1 Targets:
  1. Canada supports local women’s rights organizations and movements;
  2. Canada helps to increase the number of women who engage in political life; and
  3. Canada helps to promote and support the empowerment of women and girls, including by increasing women’s political, social and economic empowerment

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/19.1.1, 19.1.2, 19.1.3/ Objective 1, 3 and 3

Baseline:

Activities:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

19.1.1:

19.1.2:

19.1.3:

An increase in the number and quality of more women-friendly services by financial institutions has been noted over the past year. 272 women have been sensitized to access financial products and services; 30% of women on the committees of 9 enterprises and 43% of women (total of 208 members) have benefited from financial services; 51.6% of women (total of 902 members) are members of the management committees of the Village Associations and credit savings.

Priorities: Support women’s and girls’ access to health services, including for sexuality and reproduction, and education
19.2 Target:
  1. Canada helps to build the capacity of health institutions to take care of women and girl survivors of sexual violence and exploitation;
  2. Canada increases the level of knowledge on the part of women, girls and communities related to reproductive and sexual health and associated rights.
  3. Canada contributes to increasing the net secondary enrolment rate for girls. 

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/ 19.2.1, 19.2.2/ Objective 3; Too early to report/19.2.3/ Objective 3

19.2.1 and 19.2.2:

19.2.3:

Baseline:

Activities:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

19.2.1:

19.2.2:

19.2.3:

Priorities: Promote and protect the human rights of women and girls, their access to justice and security, and take special measures to protect them from SGBV
19.3 Targets:
  1. Promote and safeguard the human rights of women and girls and take special measures to protect them from sexual and GBV;
  2. Canada supports Haitian institutions and civil society to address SGBV issues; and
  3. Canada supports the improvement of the legal framework for women, particularly with regard to the protection of women, girls and boys from SGBV.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/ 19.3.1, 19.3.2, 9.3.3 / Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

19.3.1: In 2020-21, the Women's Voices and Leadership project ($8.3 million, 2018-23) helped promote and protect the human rights of women and girls by improving the delivery of quality services by local organizations and the effectiveness of women's rights platforms, networks, and alliances. With funding from Canada, the project was able to provide financial support to partners to carry out awareness-raising and training activities on women's rights as well as to improve services on gender-based violence through the provision of support staff, including psychologists, lawyers and nurses. Two organizations were able to provide shelter to women and girls who were victims of violence, while others were able to provide care to more than 500 women and girls who had suffered physical, sexual and psychological violence.

However, this project faced a difficult collaboration with the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Women's Rights (MCFDF), which required the project to dedicate a portion of its funds to the institutional strengthening of the Ministry, even though according to the project's terms of reference, GAC cannot directly fund a foreign ministry. Although the impact on project activities has been minimal, collaboration with MCFDF could deteriorate further if no agreement can be identified.

19.3.2: Supported by Canada, the Access to Justice and the Fight against Impunity in Haiti (AJULIH) project ($18.16M, 2017-23) fights against impunity for violence against women and girls by contributing to the improvement of judicial processing of gender-based violence cases. Supporting the l’Office de la Protection du citoyen (OPC), the AJULIH project aims to make the Institution's services more accessible by improving the reception and processing of complaints. A free telephone line that provided legal assistance to 417 people (252 women, 35 men and 130 minors). 688 people (246 women and 91 minors) also benefited from legal assistance, of which 239 were assisted by partner civil society organizations and 449 by lawyers recruited by the project. The latter have enabled the arrest, following legal proceedings, of the aggressors of 40 women and girls who were victims of assault, rape and breach of trust.

However, there are some challenges to be mentioned, notably the difficult security context and the numerous health restrictions put in place to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which have created difficulties in the continuity of the offer of proximity services in all the departments of the country. The contract of the project coordinator within the OPC was not renewed in September 2020 due to insufficient results. The coordinator was not replaced until January 2021. Recruitment, retention and evaluation of staff are important issues in this institution.

19.3.3: The AJULIH project also supported 14 partner civil society organizations in the development of an advocacy plan on the preventive and arbitrary detention of women, including 6 women's and/or feminist organizations (KRIFA, MOUFED, Fanm Deside, Konbit Fanm Leve, AFASDA and OFSA).

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts in Haiti
19.4 Target: Canada, through PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Haiti by ensuring that WPS and gender are integrated in 80% of projects.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

In Haiti, PSOPs' continues to encourage the inclusion of gender-based results in project designs, to ensure that WPS and/or gender perspectives are reflected in new projects, and to support women's increased participation in improving peace and security in the country. For examples, PSOPs provided support to:

Results and Progress:

PSOPs partnered with Mercy Corp for a project entitled “Improving Security in Haiti through Relationship Building in the Community” which helped increased the participation of women in restorative justice activities and mediation processes. In this project, women play an essential role as mediators in conflict situations, and this approach ensures that the skills and perspectives of women are actively capitalized upon in mediating conflicts at community level. Mercy Corps made a concerted effort to involve women from the communities of Arcahaie and Miragoâne in the restorative justice process and as a result, 33% of trained Community Peace Officers were women (9F,18M) who played an important role in conflict mediation, and actively participated in conflict resolutions processes in the communities.

PSOPS also supported the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to strengthen the Haitian Border Police’s capacity to enforce security and to recognize the specific rights and needs of migrants, including girls, women, and vulnerable individuals. Sensitizing Haitian Border Police on key border management and protection issues from a gendered perspective contributed to their increased understanding of migrants’ rights and international standards. As such, the rights of vulnerable migrants, victims of criminal acts/human rights abuses and/or victims of trafficking, etc. - especially women and children- has been enhanced through increased access to protection mechanisms through referral to the Border Resource Centres (BRC), as well as other available social and governmental services. IOM, in collaboration with UN Women, also organized a training series on prevention and response to GBV for the Haitian Border Police agents; 38 participants benefited from the training, including 23 women (61%).

The project “Improving the Integration of Women in the Haitian National Police” with CowaterSogema was launched in October 2020. This PSOPs project aims to increase the number of women police officers within the Haitian National Police (HNP), and allow 200 young women, primarily from at-risk areas where violence and insecurity are prevalent, to contribute to the country’s peace and security efforts. The project also works to contribute to advancing intervention practices and the policing and security culture in Haiti by integrating more women into its police forces. This project was designed specifically to eliminate gender inequalities and empower women and girls, and has results and targets focused on gender equality and on women, peace and security.

Challenges:

COVID-19: Haiti is a beneficiary of the COVAX program, and the distribution of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin at the end of July 2021. The pandemic had a significant impact on all PSOPs’ projects, given that project recipients had to review and adapt the implementation of their activities to take into account measures required to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in some delay to the implementation of some projects’ activities.

Security:  More than 100 armed groups have been identified in Haiti. The most active are those in the capital city Port-au-Prince, and control the entry points. In addition, during the last quarter of 2020 Haiti saw a 200% increase in kidnappings that created a general sense of insecurity in the population, especially when moving between areas of Port-au-Prince.

Political situation: For more than a year, Haiti has been without a parliament due to a failure to hold elections for all levels of government, provoking demonstrations, mostly violent, that take place regularly to protest this situation. The political unrest has led to repeated protests, and road blocks, it was therefore sometimes difficult to adhere to the projects’ initially planned implementation schedule.

Economy: In the last quarter of 2020, the Haitian Government injected $36 M USD into the Haitian economy to stabilize exchange rates. As a result, the Gourde appreciated by more than 200% in just three months. This left some PSOPs’ partners, peer organizations, and USD-based economies with considerable financial implications to ensure contractual obligations were respected with less functional liquidity. Over the course of the past months, the Haitian Gourde has gradually re-depreciated, indicating a slowly stabilizing situation.

20. Colombia

Context: Colombia’s internal armed conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was the longest running armed conflict in the Americas. It killed over 220,000 people; displaced more than 7.1 million and resulted in 60,000 disappearances. Although there is no official data, it is estimated that at least 500,000 women were targeted with sexual violence. Colombia has the second highest number of landmine victims in the world (after Afghanistan), and Colombians have suffered grave human rights violations and destabilization in rural areas.  In 2016, the Government of Colombia and the FARC signed a peace agreement that ended over 50 years of internal armed conflict. The implementation of this agreement brings great opportunities for Colombia. However, challenges remain related to violence at the hands of other armed and guerilla groups, criminality, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses, including an increase in the number of assassinations of human rights defenders (343 people between January 2017 and August 2018). The peace agreement with FARC includes specific provisions related to: advancing women’s rights to rural economic development and political participation; illicit drugs; victims’ assistance; and demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of former combatants. Canada is supporting these efforts.

Canada has a strong record of advancing GE, human rights and empowerment of women and girls in Colombia through international assistance, the CFLI, and PSOPs programming.  In 2016, Canada announced $78 million in funding for initiatives to support Colombia’s peace implementation, including $20 million to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Post-Conflict in Colombia. This programming aims to empower women as agents of peace. Investments in rural development are supporting women’s increased and meaningful participation, including as decision-makers, in rural cooperatives and associations; as well as enabling equal access to and control over resources such as credit, infrastructure and land. Canadian supported initiatives acknowledge and address the differential impact of conflict on women and girls, and analyze the factors that support women to succeed in the marketplace and increase their skills, which is important in the post-conflict context. Canada also focused on education and youth programming to protect Colombian children and youth (particularly girls) from violence, exploitation and abuse. This work is supporting efforts to transform unequal gender relations among youth in conflict zones, and create educational opportunities for vulnerable girls and teenage mothers. In 2017-2018, Canada chaired Colombia’s International Cooperation Gender Coordination Group, coordinating the efforts of more than 40 organizations to advocate and advance GE and women's rights in Colombia. The Group has been instrumental in promoting the participation of women in Colombia’s peace negotiations.

Priorities: Support the increased and meaningful participation of women in peacebuilding, recovery and conflict resolution
20.1 Target: Canada increases the capacity of women engaged in peacebuilding, recovery and conflict resolution activities.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

All PSOPs projects in Colombia were implemented in a gender-responsive manner, taking into account the needs of women and working to strengthen their capacities.

Challenges:

Some delays occurred in transitioning activities to the virtual space in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic mobility restrictions, which consequently resulted in lapses for some projects. Connectivity issues with participants (women and men) from isolated regions posed some challenges to effective and smooth participation in project activities. The COVID-19 pandemic mobility restrictions (imposed by both State and non-state actors) also resulted in increased threats, violence and assassinations of both women and men social leaders and human rights defenders, and reduced abilities for victims to access services. Reports indicate increased domestic violence and SGBV against women and LGBTI populations.

Priorities: Enhance access to justice, compensation services and protection for women and girls
20.2 Target: Canada enhances access to justice, protection and compensation services for women and girls survivors of violence caused by the conflict.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

PSOPs’ interventions in Colombia focus on enhancing protection for women in conflict-affected regions and increasing women and girl victims’ effective participation in the transitional justice system. Results include:

Challenges:

Some delays occurred in transitioning activities to the virtual space in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic mobility restrictions, which consequently resulted in lapses for some projects. The COVID-19 pandemic induced delays posed a number of challenges, particularly to the Truth Commission, whose mandate ends in November 2021. Connectivity issues with participants from isolated regions posed some challenges to effective participation. The COVID-19 pandemic mobility restrictions (imposed by both State and non-state actors) also resulted in increased threats, violence and assassinations of both women and men social leaders and human rights defenders, and reduced abilities for victims to access services. Reports indicate increased domestic violence and SGBV against women and LGBTI populations.

Priorities: Support women’s empowerment and the advancement of GE, including through the engagement of men and youth
20.3 Target: Canada enhances access to quality education and sustainable livelihoods for girls and women as key components for a sustainable peace.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Mostly on track/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

ViaCo-operative Development Foundation of Canada, financial and business development services were provided to 54 rural cooperatives and producer associations, benefitting 13,006 producers (30% women); while 10,048 producers from 45 organizations (30% women) accessed associative loan. Such loans are granted to the collective group, instead of individual producers, creating stronger relationships and organizational practices.

Through Alinea Canada, 618 producers (59% women) received technical assistance to adapt to climate change.

Through Plan Canada’s project, Leading for Peace, 2.617 women victims of the armed conflict received training in financial literacy and participate in Savings and Loans associations; 994 youth were trained on gender-transformative life skills and entrepreneurship (Women; 722, Men: 272); and 300 productive initiatives are being supported with seed funds and materials.

Through Cuso International, a total of 14,933 individuals (66% women), increased their participation in the labour market. 4,000 women are now linked to formal employment. An additional 247 micro-businesses have been supported increasing profitability for 464 women (62%).

Through Socodevi, 78 women have been supported and elected as full members of the executive boards of their association, increasing the minimum of 30% women representation in the 34 participating cacao producer associations from 47% to 64%.  11 additional associations have developed and approved a gender equality plan to guide their activities and enhance women empowerment.  52% of women involved in the cacao value chain have demonstrated increased level of empowerment, compared to 34% a year ago; this contrasts with the results of a control group (made up of women not benefitting from the project) set up in the same geographic areas, only 13% of which showed similar empowerment.

In FY 2020/21, the Profamilia project adapted to virtual and other remote methodologies brought on by the pandemic context. The project managed to reach 8,133 girls and boys (82% of the total group, 4,106 girls and 4,027 boys) through weekly online “challenges” to begin the reflection process about gender roles (delivered through the caregivers’ phones); as well as the design and delivery of physical booklets and a board game for those with limited communications in order to facilitate access to information.

Additionally, 523 teachers received virtual training in SRHR. The target for this year was 100 teachers and the total for the project is 550. This shows another unintended positive effect of the pandemic, as the change of methodology to virtual capacity building allowed more teachers to be regularly engaged.

Through the CFLI project called VerduPaz undertaken by Membru International in Cajibío, Cauca, 70 farm families improved their family farms through various agricultural inputs to make them organic and more productive, and 83 women participated in training on gender equality, structural gender-based violence, leadership, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Through another CFLI project in Puerto Asís, Putumayo, led by the Colombian Campaign Against Mines (CCCM), 10 productive initiatives were carried out where women affected by conflict improved their knowledge of animal husbandry.  These inputs will result in an improvement of their family income and food security.

Through Canada’s contribution to the MPTF, 80 grassroots organizations strengthened their economic empowerment capacities in 60 municipalities, benefitting 2,251 women and 2,308 men.

Challenges:

The main challenge during this period were the COVID-19 pandemic related mobility restrictions and health risks, which resulted in projects needing to refocus their delivery approach to the virtual space, thus causing implementation delays and budget lapses for some projects. With connectivity issues common in much of rural Colombia, the inability to physically travel to some regions delayed implementation of some larger scale events. Others were able to adapt to the virtual space, although it was commonplace that those with bad connection had trouble actively contributing, which somewhat hindered the overall quality of the events.

As with the majority of education or training programming activities in development projects, partners have had to adjust project plans, activity work plans and in some cases overall expected project targets and/or results in response to an on-going pandemic context.  Colombia rural areas in particular have been greatly impacted by COVID-19 cases and related closures.  Programming partners such as Profamila, were challenged to pivot project annual work plans and find new ways to deliver a good portion of their activities.  This impacted greatly project progress.  Nonetheless, with time, partners were able to respond and find new ways of working, with some unintentional positive consequences.  For many partners relying on education/training activities, the delays and challenging contexts have impacted project budgets, including burn rate ability for example, and thus requests for no-cost extensions of project agreements.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts in Colombia
20.4 Target: Canada, through PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Colombia by ensuring that WPS principles and/or gender perspectives are integrated in 75% of projects

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target Achieved or Surpassed/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

PSOPs’ interventions in Colombia focus on promoting the inclusion of women in the implementation of the peace process and in addressing the ongoing post Peace Agreement violence. PSOPs supports women’s empowerment to become agents of change in this environment, and to address the different needs of women, men, girls and boys. This is exemplified in the following initiatives:

Challenges:

The main challenge during this period were the COVID-19 pandemic related mobility restrictions and health risks, which resulted in projects needing to refocus their delivery approach to the virtual space. This has caused implementation delays and budget lapses for some projects. With connectivity issues common in much of rural Colombia, the inability to physically travel to some regions delayed implementation of some larger scale events. Others were able to adapt to the virtual space, although it was commonplace that those with bad connection had trouble actively contributing, which somewhat hindered the overall quality of the events.

In addition to this, Colombian enforced mobility restrictions resulted in harsh economic struggles for the more vulnerable Colombians that work in informal economic settings and were struggling to support themselves. In these instances, project partners reported some challenges in engaging target populations given that these groups were more focused on sustaining themselves day-to-day rather than project work.

Asia

21. Afghanistan

Context: Decades of conflict and fragility have deepened and legitimized the practices that deny women and girls their human rights, mobility and opportunity, and ultimately their equal status with men and boys. Women and girls throughout Afghanistan are disadvantaged by: their low participation in politics and governance; un-implemented laws that protect women; limited access to justice; pervasive SGBV; cultural practices that undermine women’s and girls' rights; poor access to health services; poverty and economic dependence on men; and inadequate access to education and high female adult illiteracy. In addition, women continue to face major obstacles regarding economic opportunities, as well as norms that discourage women from working outside of the home and seeking financial independence. Most women lack literacy and financial management skills. Most Afghan businesswomen are unable to access credit or financing. Though laws protect women’s rights to property and inheritance, in reality many women still struggle to claim their economic and property rights. Despite modest gains over the past decade, ongoing conflict hampers the overall progress of women’s economic, political and social rights.

Development programming in Afghanistan is focused on empowering women and girls through increased support to women organizations and improved access to education and health care services. Canada will continue supporting the delivery of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health care to women and girls living in hard-to-reach communities.

Canada supports Afghanistan’s NAP on UNSCR 1325 (2015-2022) through its programming, policy dialogue, and diplomatic engagement.  Afghanistan’s NAP was initiated in 2013 by the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and developed in consultation with 21 government institutions, leading CSO, and the Afghan Women’s Network, which convened seven provincial consultations to feed into the development of the Plan. It was publicly launched in June 2015. Afghanistan’s NAP aims to increase women’s participation in peace processes and the security sector, as well as to address issues around protection and relief and recovery services for women. Canada is also a strong proponent of ensuring the retention and recruitment of women in the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and their observation and implementation of the WPS agenda. Canada also supports Afghanistan’s NAP through programming that advances women’s social and economic empowerment, including addressing SGBV and supporting the Elimination of VAW Law.

Priorities: Support the increased representation of women in the Afghan National Defence and Security ForcesFootnote 15
21.1 Target: Canada actively supports the implementation of Afghanistan’s NAP on UNSCR 1325. Afghan National Defence and Security Forces have targets for recruitment of qualified women, particularly at the low and middle management level, as part of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces sustainment. The goal is to reach the targets set for women within the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army: 5% for the police and 0.75% for the army.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Since the previous reporting period, the number of women in the ANDSF has increased slightly (from 1.82 to 1.91% %). As reported in the April 2021 Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report, the vast majority of ANDSF female personnel serve in the Afghan National Police in low and middle management levels. Of the female personnel in the Afghan National Army, 149 serve in the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and 332 in the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF).

A flagship project of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund (ANATF) is the Women Police Town project, which aims to improve the recruitment of female members into the defence and security forces. Once completed, it is anticipated to house 300 ANP police women and their families. It incentivizes female police and security forces by providing safe housing for active serving members and rewarding long term veterans, the martyred, the disabled and their families.

The ANDSF have made considerable gains in furthering the WPS agenda by recruiting and retaining women in the last decade despite ongoing challenges, such as creating a protective environment for women. Despite the progress made towards recruiting and retaining women in the security forces, female service members face a daunting array of problems: social stigma, discrimination from male colleagues, restricted career development, resistance from the communities where they work, and harassment and abuse from their male colleagues. Consultations with key stakeholders in Afghanistan highlight the importance of high-level international advocacy in support of the WPS agenda within the ANDSF as well as improvements in complaints mechanisms to address sexual harassment and adopting to progressive social norms. In addition, support for the participation of women in the peace talks will be essential for ensuring that women’s rights and gender equity remain a priority. While much of the focus has been put on the participation pillar of WPS within the ANDSF, the “protection pillar” is increasingly more important. 

The withdrawal of international troops and their gender advisors is particularly affecting the role of women in the security institutions. The international advisors were instrumental in supporting gender-related issues as well as pushing the leadership of security institutions to ensure that women receive the required political attention and support, messages which were reinforced by the NATO and US Commanders. Because of the withdrawal, a recent decline in political will and high-level support for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Gender Directorates have been reported. Gender Directorates are the lead policy units on gender issues within their respective departments; they lead on strategic gender-integration plans and gender-related priorities. Canada recently issued a letter on behalf of donors to Afghan security ministers, followed by a demarche to the National Security Advisor on the need for more support for women. 

Canada, in coordination with others donors through the Heart of Asia Society, supported the Directorate of Human Rights and Women’s International Affairs within the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the implementation and tracking of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. This initiative informs Canada’s own National Action Plan commitments, with the intention to support other countries’ efforts to build their own National Action Plans.

Priorities: Support women’s rights organizations in advancement of Afghanistan’s NAP on WPS
21.2 Target: In direct support of the goals outlined in Afghanistan’s NAP on WPS, 35 Afghan women’s rights organizations are supported through the Women’s and Girls’ Rights and Empowerment sector programming.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 1

In FY 2020/21, Canada’s Afghanistan bilateral programming had the following gender integration profile:

In FY 2020/21, the PSOPs projects in Afghanistan had the following profile:

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and ProgressFootnote 16:

Canada’s programming on Women’s and Girls’ Rights and Empowerment addresses sexual and gender-based violence and supports the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law by strengthening implementation of policies and programs, amounting to CAD$8.3 M in FY 2020/21. In this reporting period, Canada worked with eight regional and international partners and a total of 54 Afghan women’s rights organizations across Afghanistan to implement its programming in this sector. Canada’s Women’s and Girls’ Rights and Empowerment programming achieved tangible results in terms of reaching women and men with sensitization and messaging on women’s rights, training and empowering women to participate in income-generating activities, strengthening mechanisms and systems for responding to gender-based violence and, ultimately, improving women’s decision-making ability at both the household and community level.

Canada’s support to the Strengthening Afghanistan’s Future through Empowerment project, with War Child Canada, aims to broaden and strengthen the enabling environment for rights, protection and empowerment of women in Afghanistan. In FY 2020/21, 228 legal actors, government officials and community leaders received training on the EVAW law and 840 Community-Based Protection Mechanism members were identified to refer and respond to gender-based violence cases in their communities. During the reporting period, more than 700 men and women, including gender-based violence survivors, accessed legal aid counselling and more than 1,110 accessed psychosocial support services. As a result, supported districts were able to more effectively promote the rights of women and girls to participate in decision making at the household level and protect them against GBV.

Relief International's Women’s Enterprise, Advocacy and Training program, funded by GAC, promotes an enabling environment for gender equality by providing access to necessary information and assets, and building women’s confidence to participate in decision-making processes. The project trains prosecutors, paralegals and police on strategies and established referral services survivors of gender-based violence. During FY 2020/21, more than 2,350 women participated in awareness sessions around women’s rights, confidence building, psychological first aid, child marriage and women’s economic empowerment.  Through these and other targeted interventions, Relief International increased women and girls’ resilience to GBV.

Canada contributed to the development of regional networks of women media practitioners through the Her Voice, Her Rights project. The implementing partner, BBC Media Action, supported six FM radio stations to produce gender-sensitive and gender-transformative radio shows, in order to raise awareness on social challenges, showcasing success stories of women in leadership roles and shedding light on the impact of harmful masculinities. As of FY 2020/21, the radio stations had produced 150 radio programmes that promoted the rights of women and girls, as well as 150 gender-themed episodes of the popular radio drama, New Home New Life. As a result of these capacity building activities, civil society and media organizations in Afghanistan were more effectively coordinated in advocating and promoting the rights of women and girls.

The Afghanistan Women's Empowerment Program, implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, successfully increased the participation of women in economic and public life by emphasizing women's ability to successfully engage in income-generating opportunities. During the reporting period, 90 women completed vocational training and another 140 were supported to start their own agri-business.

Through contributions to the World Bank-led Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF)’s Women Economic Empowerment Rural Development Project (WEE-RDP), Canada supported activities to remove legal barriers to women’s participation; training in literacy, business management, and labor skills; ensure inclusive access to finance; improve access to agricultural inputs, extension services, and markets; and promote access to creative economy markets. WEE-RDP was active in over 4,000 villages across the country.

During the reporting period, the COVID-19 pandemic situation posed challenges for the implementation of these programs, particularly in hosting group-based training activities and larger-scale advocacy events. Just as programs were adapted to align with lockdown restrictions, project mitigation measures were employed during FY 2020/21 as a result of a deteriorating security situation. Since the beginning of intra-Afghan peace negotiations in September 2020, a sharp increase in civilian casualties has been observed, particularly the targeting of human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, civil society actors, journalists, moderate imams and others. This has required project staff and beneficiaries to exert heightened caution and discretion in certain circumstances, such as when participating in high-visibility, rights-based advocacy activities.

Cordaid has become the ad hoc focal point organization to coordinate side events at high-level talks between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and the Taliban, advocating for women’s voices to be at the table of the negotiations.

Cordaid has also been incorporating the perspectives and views of a diversity of Afghan women and has been consistently engaged with the 4 female members of the negotiation team.

Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)

In FY 2020/21, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, Canada supported 4 Afghan partners aligned with Canada’s National Action plan, including:

Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD): EPD mobilized local leaders, religious scholars and women activists to raise awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic and the primary and secondary effects on women. EPD provided training and raw materials to 50 women to produce face masks and support their families economically. In order to reduce the GBV-related cases, EPD provided training sessions for local leaders, particularly religious leaders and women’s rights activists, to collaborate in the campaign for the reduction of violence against women and raise awareness among families and communities. The door-to-door awareness campaign on the COVID-19 pandemic and GBV reached approximately 1200 families, in addition to many students, community councils and community members during Friday’s sermons.

Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA): In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing GBV crisis, the project established three free and independent legal advice clinics in Kabul, Balkh and Paktia provinces, in order to improve women’s access to justice and support the protection of their rights. The project employed a group of professional women to train and empower a network of local volunteer women to work in these legal advice clinics, provide free legal support to women in need and advocate for the rights of women in the community level. In total, 94 women received free legal advice. A parallel career development program further enhanced the professional capacity of 300 women and strengthened their role within their communities.

Afghanistan Youths Civic Engagement and Educational Organization (AYCEED): The project advocated for the meaningful participation of youth in the ongoing Afghan peace process by empowering 150 girls and boys through critical thinking and peacebuilding training, as well as through debates, public speaking and civic education. The project participants then shared these skills and information with hundreds of other youth in their respective communities. The project activities helped youth to make informed decisions, actively engage in civic activities and advocate for an inclusive peace process in the country.

Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRAAC): In order to address the increase in GBV cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Helmand province, HRAAC organized awareness sessions for local leaders and CSO members to better advocate for the reduction of violence against women in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These awareness sessions increased the level of trust between communities and government officials while positively impacting GBV service delivery and reducing domestic violence and GBV in communities. In total, 120 men and youth received training on how to prevent, address and report GBV related cases in their communities. In addition, the project built the capacity of 120 women in tailoring skills, particularly making face masks and clothes, which helped in promoting the economic empowerment of women in Helmand province. 

22. Myanmar

Context: Since August 25, 2017, the grave humanitarian and security crisis that continues to unfold in Myanmar stands as a global tragedy, which has led more than 730,000 Rohingya to flee their homes in Rakhine State and seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. SGBV has featured significantly in this conflict and Canada will continue to advocate for the human rights of the Rohingya and on the need to bring perpetrators of violence to account.

The Rohingya crisis starkly underscores the importance of pursuing GE in Myanmar. To date, Myanmar’s progress in GE includes equality in legal and policy frameworks, such as constitutional guarantees for equal rights without discrimination against any Myanmar citizen on the basis of sex. Myanmar has ratified and endorsed the major international conventions and agreements on GE and women’s and children’s rights, and its National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women (2013–2022) is based on the priority areas of the Beijing Platform for Action. Significant challenges remain despite this progress, including limited public sector capacity, policy implementation gaps, varied performance among and within sectors, traditional cultural values related to women’s roles and responsibilities that shape familial relationships, limited women’s participation in decision making and access to resources, and allowing GBV to occur with impunity. Moreover, Myanmar’s peace process has largely excluded gender concerns and women’s participation in both process and substance. The level of women’s inclusion during peace agreement negotiations has been low.

In response, Canada’s bilateral development program will work with partners to integrate GE results across development programs, increase support for SRHR, including ending SGBV, and increase support for women and girls’ and GE through the support of local organizations. PSOPs programming in Myanmar will support and strengthen the capacities of various groups, including women’s groups, to increase their participation and capacity to influence decisions on the peace process. In addition, PSOPs programming opportunities in Myanmar will take gender perspectives into account when deciding which initiatives to fund.

Priorities Support local women’s rights organizations and movements working to advance GE and WPS
22.1 Target: Canada strengthens the integration of GE and women and girls’ empowerment in bilateral development programming to 90% of funding by the end of the FY 2021/22 to increase GE and meaningful participation of women in public life in Myanmar

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Internal capacity and efficiency

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Supported by the Support for Democratic Transition in Myanmar (K4DM) project, the Gender Equality Network organization provided recommendations and suggestions to the Protection and Prevention of Violence against Women bill. 50 percent of these were adopted. Five other supported think tanks produced and disseminated contextualized outputs on women’s participation in democratic processes at all levels and women and minority participation in the peace process. These studies have translated into photo-essays, reports and briefing notes that informed the public and policymakers of barriers to political participation women face.

MEDA has delivered training sessions in farming, finance and leadership to women. The Improving Market Opportunities for Women Agricultural Producers (IMOW) project has translated in increased household incomes and the respect of women as valuable community actors in villages. 549 women have been elected in leadership positions in social, development and administrative committees in their community. IMOW also promoted men engagement in gender equality that resulted behavior changes such as playing new roles by men in their households.

The WROs supported by the Women’s Voice and Leadership Myanmar (WVL) project are all operating despite significant challenges and have reported an increased ability to deliver quality services and advocacy efforts to the communities they serve. WRO’s work in closing the gender gap and the development of women as leaders has contributed to an approximate increase of 7% (from 10% to 17%) of women elected in parliaments at all levels during the November 2020 elections. As well, as a result of their ongoing advocacy efforts in the lead up to the 2020 general election, one WVL Myanmar implementing partner was successful in compelling the Kachin State People Party to endorse and implement a formal Gender Policy guaranteeing that 30 percent of all candidates for pre-selection must be women and/or youth. Out of 11 WROs, 8 organizations responded to challenges of women and girls including, marginalized communities, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in coordination with additional 13 WROs.

All participants in the training sessions delivered by the Forum of Federations indicated that the Strengthening Federalism and Inclusive Governance project increased their capacity to contribute to the federal state’s future, and all students were confident with the relevance of the project at level 4 and 5.

The youth-led campaign supported by the Health Empowerment and Rights (HER) for Vulnerable Populations in Myanmar project empowered youth to act as agents of change by encouraging them to protect each other, and supported help-seeking behaviors from girls, young women and women in instances of violence and abuse during social isolation, and peer-to-peer support.

The efforts by Inter Pares, through the Inclusive Democratic Development (IDD) in Myanmar project, contributed to a gradual increase in women’s participation in the four 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conferences (UPC) held between 2016 and 2020, with a 4% increase between the first and the fourth conference. Another sign of participation to public life is that 33% of the 583 interviews provided to Myanmar and international media agencies were conducted with women.

A recent evaluation of the Joint Peace Fund (JPF) support to WROs and their engagement in the Myanmar peace process found emergent results occurring in the areas of increased capacity, confidence, and community awareness; a stronger evidence base for women’s participation in the peace process, more informed by the voices of local women; some strengthened relationships that can be used for influencing; and some signs of peace process stakeholder responsiveness. The evaluation also found that advocacy efforts appear to be leading onward to new opportunities. For example, lobbying meetings appear to be generating increased demand for the involvement of WROs in further discussions, and sharing prepared evidence appears to be triggering new technical assistance requests.

As of December 2020, the WPHF has provided US$428,000 through 2 grants supporting 13 CSO partners in Myanmar, reaching 12,377 direct beneficiaries, including 7,551 women and girls. In 2021, Canada assumed the Chair of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) national level steering committee in Myanmar, and will work closely with the United Nations, fellow donors, and Myanmar CSOs to channel urgently-needed funds to local and grassroots civil-society organizations working on women, peace and security and humanitarian action in Myanmar.

More than 250 women leaders completed training delivered by the Women’s Initiatives Platform (WIP). Among these, more than 50 women were pre-selected by their respective political parties to run for office in Myanmar’s November 2020 election. During the reporting period, 48 of these leaders were nominated as candidates, and six went on to win seats in their constituencies. Although election results were annulled by the February 1 coup d’état, many of the women leaders trained by WIP continue to work for the advancement of democracy in Myanmar.

Challenges:

Between the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the coup d’état, it has been a difficult year for implementation of activities in Myanmar. However, Canada’s partners have been able to quickly adapt and respond to emerging needs with impressive success. One of the main challenges has been the difficulty to reach and maintain contact with beneficiaries, either due to limited access to internet, travel restrictions or competing immediate priorities. For example, LIFT partners were unable to reach beneficiaries with technical and vocational training due to prohibition on social gatherings. However, they quickly moved to digitize content for students with internet access/mobile devices. For students without devices, arrangements were put in place to provide them with access, including remote training to community-based staff and volunteers, who then cascaded learning to communities. In 2020, 5 of LIFT’s implementing partners (DRC, SCI, ILO, RI and Metta) provided training to 1,254 individuals (757 females) on technical, vocational skills and enterprise development in Rakhine, of which 760, started or extended their own business by applying the skill they have learnt.

Since the February 1, 2021, coup, another key issue for partners has been the diminishing space for CSOs to operate freely, openly and safely on topics deemed sensitive by regime leaders, such as human rights, democratization, freedom of expression, peace (building), inclusion, and equality. Many implementing partners have been forced on the run and into hiding without access to communications, computers, and records. Communications blackouts and shutdowns imposed by the regime exacerbated this. Further, targeting of implementing partners receiving foreign funding, international sanctions, and the collapse of the banking sector, made financial disbursements difficult. These challenging and fluid circumstances required sensitive but continued support for civil society to enable human rights defenders and activists to continue their essential work, without putting them at undue risk due to information leaks regarding their activities or affiliation with western governments.

Priorities: Increase the support for SRHR and rights including ending SGBV
22.2 Target: The support for SRHR and ending SGBV in bilateral development programming is increased by 2021/22.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: On track/Objective 2

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Through its activities, the project HER improved the quality and accessibility of SRHR information and services. It developed Comprehensive Sexuality out-of-school Education curriculum “Youth Empowerment, Safety and Sexuality” first manual. In addition, 4,808 children and adolescents (2,693 girls) were reached through adolescent networks, community or religious groups to engage in behavior change campaigns promoting girls’ access to services. 2,343 people downloaded the mobile application Love Question, Live Answer through which they received correct information on SRHR. As well, 1,627 young persons were provided with ASRHR services through both static and mobile clinics. 676 basic health staff were trained for Reproductive health commodity logistics system and and 37 focal persons were trained for automated electronic logistics management information system eLMIS.

The Women’s Voice and Leadership Myanmar (WVL) project’s support was instrumental in helping WROs benefiting from the Rapid Response Fund and providing safe houses to survivors of SGBV maintain their operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite restrictions and an increased demand for shelters.

The Embassy of Canada’s virtual campaign during the 16 days activism events reached more than 10,000 individuals in English and 700 in French, with videos of Canada’s-funded activities in Myanmar. This contributed to cementing Canada’s leadership in this area as one of the few existing feminist development partners in the country.

Challenges:

One of the biggest challenges partners have faced when addressing SRHR and SGBV issues this year has been the inability to engage with the government following the coup and competing priorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some partners had a strong working relationship with the democratically elected government. This relationship was instrumental to implement several activities such as the adoption or improvement of some policies and bills. These activities had to be cancelled or shifted.

Similarly, following the coup, all programming that directly supported or benefited the government was stopped or redirected. For the “Climate Change and Disaster Resilience in Myanmar” project (2017-2021, $10M), a government capacity building project with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), this meant that a large proportion of programming needed to be adjusted or halted. Though nearing a close, these adjustments ultimately led to an early termination of the project.

Priorities: Mainstream WPS and gender into peace and security efforts in Myanmar
22.3 Target: Canada, through its PSOPs, demonstrates support for women’s increased and meaningful participation in improving peace and security in Myanmar by ensuring that WPS principles and gender perspectives are integrated in 75% of projects.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2021: Target achieved or surpassed/Objective 3

Baseline:

Activity:

Indicator:

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

PSOPs is supporting the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) for their work in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.  In 2020, GNWP trained 25 young women leaders from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and 27 young women leaders and male gender equality allies from Myanmar to reduce tensions between host communities and refugees. The workshops enabled them to meaningfully participate in, influence and lead peacebuilding and political processes, such as the implementation of the WPS and YPS resolutions and advocacy for gender equality, women’s rights, and human rights. The young women leaders developed lesson plans for gender-sensitive, age-appropriate literacy and numeracy classes, integrating issues related to health and nutrition, confidence building, peace education, conflict mediation, human trafficking, family planning, and child marriage into the lesson plans.  They have also held community dialogues on the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and accountability for gender-based violence.

For the past five years Canada has supported the Joint Peace Fund, a multi-donor trust fund to advance the peace process in Myanmar. Building on the successes captured in 2019, where JPF committed to excluding any “gender blind” projects supported going forward. In 2020, there were no projects that did not include some aspect of gender inclusion activities in their design and implementation. JPF is exceeding its gender mainstreaming programme target of 15% of total funding – with the current total at 17%. Partners have been increasingly motivated to improve their own gender mainstreaming practices, which has resulted in increased levels of technical support from JPF staff to address needs and demands, including refining and customizing tools, training sessions, and partner-led responses from a diversity of partners across the portfolio.

An evaluation commission by the JPF revealed its support to women’s rights organizations and their engagement in the peace process found emergent results occurring in the areas of increased capacity, confidence, and community awareness; a stronger evidence base for women’s participation in the peace process, more informed by the voices of local women; some strengthened relationships that can be used for influencing; and some signs of stakeholder responsiveness. The evaluation also found that advocacy efforts appear to be leading onward to new opportunities; for example, lobbying meetings appear to be generating increased demand for the involvement of women’s rights organizations in further discussions, and sharing prepared evidence appears to be triggering new technical assistance requests.

All stakeholders in Myanmar’s peace process (prior to the coup d’etat) agreed to a 30% target for women’s involvement in the formal peace process. However, while some improvements have been made, the rate of women’s participation has remained significantly below that target: for 2020, the Union Peace Conference, women’s participation, was only 17%. Of the female participants this year, only 60% held “substantive roles”.

Challenges:

Throughout the course of year, FY 2020/21, conditions in Myanmar continued to deteriorate in relation to COVID 19, making it extremely difficult to conduct a large number of activities.  A lot of initiatives were also in relation to the general elections held in November, 2020, an election that was thwarted by a coup d’etat by the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) on 1 February, 2021.  This has led to a reversal of democratic gains, a country-wide civil disobedience movement and increasing violence against civilians.  Following the coup d’etat in Myanmar in February 2021, GAC, led by PSOPs, undertook a detailed scenario planning exercise to generate a whole-of-government view on the most likely scenario to unfold in the country over the next year and highlight key considerations for Canadian engagement. PSOPs is working with each project recipient to see how its programming activities must respond, pivot or cease due to the changing circumstances in Myanmar.

These challenges made it difficult to achieve many of the objectives intended for this programming in Myanmar.  Numerous implementers had to halt, pivot or cease operations to ensure the safety and security of their staff. PSOPs is working closely with partners to determine new opportunities to support WPS initiatives and peace goals in Myanmar, into 2021-2022.

Annex 1: Methodology for Objective Ratings

The ratings for individual targets were assigned with the following considerations:

To ensure quality control, the Action Plan coordination team at Global Affairs Canada reviewed all target ratings for accuracy, consistency and cohesion across the departmental reports. Feedback and recommendations were provided to responsible focal points, resulting in each individual target rating undergoing several rounds of consultations, discussion, and approval. This extensive process allowed for reduced subjectivity and improved accuracy.

Rating scale for achievement of targets:

RatingDescription
0Too Early to Report: We launched a new initiative the reporting fiscal year. We cannot report on progress.
1

Attention Required: Our efforts are not on track to achieve the target by the end of action plan/specified date

Experiencing serious problems and intervention is required to ensure the target will be met by the end of action plan/specified date.

2

Mostly on Track: Our efforts are mostly on track to achieve the target by the end of action plan/specified date

Experiencing manageable problems and minor attention/intervention is required to ensure the target will be met by the end of action plan/specified date.

3

On Track: Our efforts are on track to achieve the target by the end of action plan/specified date.

Normal procedures/level of effort are sufficient to achieve the target by the end of action plan/specified date.

4Target Achieved or Surpassed: We achieved or surpassed the target by the end of action plan/specified date.

Annex 2: Summary of progress in meeting targets

 Internal capacity and efficiencyObjective 1 Conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuildingObjective 2 Prevent and address SGBV and SEAObjective 3 Gender equality, human rights and empowermentObjective 4 Gender-responsive humanitarian action and SRHRObjective 5 WPS in peace operationsTotal
Too early to report on0001001
Attention required1001002
Mostly on track112290125
On track1312782345
Target achieved or surpassed560120023
Total20309312498

Annex 3: Tracking of International Assistance Investments to advance Women, Peace and Security

Background: While there is no internationally agreed method to track international assistance investments to advance WPS, Canada has developed a methodology to track WPS spending that builds on the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) approach to capturing international assistance spending allocated to advancing gender equality in fragile states. This method is based on a combination of OECD-DAC purpose codes, Global Affairs Canada’s gender equality (GE) codes and a list of fragile and conflict-affected states created using 3 indices: the Fragile States Index, Global Peace Index and OECD States of Fragility Report. The projects are captured in our project database using these search criteria. Because of the application of OECD-DAC codes, the method can more accurately capture the relevant WPS components of projects, thereby providing more accurate reporting on funding amounts.

WPS funding: Based on this method, preliminary reporting demonstrates that GAC disbursed approximately $692 million to projects advancing the WPS agenda in 2020-21, as compared to $679 million in 2019-20, $497 million in 2018-19, $408 million in 2017-18, and $221 million the year prior, before the second Action Plan’s adoption. The 2020-2021 figures stem from 298 projects that fully integrated gender considerations (GE-02) and from 153 projects that aimed to advance gender equality (GE-03).

In the Action Plan’s countries of focus, GAC disbursed the following amounts to WPS programming:

Below is a breakdown of GAC’s programming disbursements broadly aligned with the Action Plan’s 5 main objectives. Some objectives capture a much broader range of issues than others, which is reflected in the funding amounts.

The total amount of WPS funding increased slightly from the previous fiscal year, while a decrease appeared in 3 main objectives. It is important to note that these amounts represent disbursements made throughout the life cycle of a project, which may explain fluctuations in funding levels year to year. Many projects also contribute substantially to more than 1 objective, and their alignment for reporting purposes under the principal objective can also create shifts that under-report actual funding to complementary objectives.

  1. Gender-responsive peacebuilding, peacemaking, and post-conflict state-building, including support to women and women’s groups working on peace-related issues: $42.3 million in 2020-21 as compared to $21.8 million in 2019-20, $24.5 million in 2018-19, and $27 million in 2017-18, representing an increase of 94%Footnote 18 over the previous fiscal year.
  2. Prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, including ending impunity and providing services to survivors, and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse: $38.9 million in 2020-21 as compared to $ 50.4 million in 2019-20, $55.7 million in 2018-19, and $60.4 million in 2017-18, representing a decrease of 22.8%Footnote 19 over the previous fiscal year.
  3. Promotion and protection of women’s and girls’ human rights and empowerment in fragile and conflict-affected settings, including support to a gender-responsive security sector, women’s political participation, girls’ primary education and combatting violent extremism: 182.3 million in 2020-21 as compared to $205 million in 2019-20, $130 million in 2018-19, and $106.3 million in 2017-18, representing a decrease of 11.1% over the previous fiscal year.
    1. Advancing gender equality in humanitarian settings: $276.2 million in 2020-21 as compared to $170 million in 2019-2020, $100 million in 2018-19, $100.7 million in 2017-18, representing a significant increase of 62.5%Footnote 20 over the previous fiscal year.
    2. Sexual and reproductive health and rights in fragile, conflict-affected states and humanitarian settings: $149.9 million in 2020-21 as compared to $ 222.6 million in 2019-20, $ 160.9 million in 2018-19, and $113 million in 2017-18, representing an decrease of 32.6%Footnote 21 over the previous fiscal year.
  4. Strengthening the capacity of peace operations to advance WPS: $2.1 million in 2020-21 as compared to $9.2 million in 2019-20, $25.5 in 2018-19 and $664,000 in 2017-18, representing a decrease of 77.2%Footnote 22 over the previous fiscal year.
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