Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2017-2022 - The implementation plans
Global Affairs Canada
Global Affairs Canada and Women, Peace and Security
Global Affairs Canada is committed to putting women and girls at the centre of its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict, and to promote peace and stability around the world. Conflict prevention, peacemaking, and post-conflict reform present unique opportunities for transformative progress on gender equality, and to build more inclusive, equal and stable societies.
Global Affairs Canada will advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda through its political leadership and diplomacy, its international assistance, and measures to strengthen its own capacity.
Global Affairs Canada will advance the WPS agenda in bilateral and multilateral contexts, in meetings and negotiations, among experts or at high levels, and in fora and on topics that typically do not include a discussion of gender or WPS.
Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (Action Plan) is integral to Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy that includes its Feminist International Assistance Policy and Defence Policy. This policy is based on the evidence that the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is the most effective approach for Canada to reduce poverty, and build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.
Global Affairs Canada will strengthen its own capacity through a reinforced collaboration with civil society, a stronger and more coherent strategic leadership across the department, and by expanding training on gender analysis and options for addressing WPS issues in its work.
Global Affairs Canada as the coordinator for Action Plan implementation
Global Affairs Canada is the focal point department for Women, Peace and Security (WPS) within the Government of Canada, and its Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) co-ordinates the Action Plan between departments, compiles progress reports, and leads on collaboration with civil society. The Director General of the PSOPs is Global Affairs Canada’s WPS Champion and the chair of the PSOPs Advisory Board.
Through the PSOPs Advisory Board and the Action Plan Advisory Group, Global Affairs Canada will develop a stronger and more coherent strategic leadership across the government on Action Plan implementation and strengthen its monitoring and reporting through a reinforced collaboration with civil society.
The PSOPs Advisory Board is a whole-of-government forum at the Director General level that provides strategic direction to the implementation of the Action Plan. It coordinates government policy on the Action Plan and defines Canada’s role in implementing the WPS agenda.
The PSOPs Advisory Board’s decisions on the implementation of the Action Plan will be informed by the Action Plan Advisory Group. The Group will be composed of experts from lead and supporting Action Plan partners and civil society representatives from the Women, Peace and Security Network- Canada. It will be co-chaired by a PSOPs official and a civil society representative. The Group will meet regularly to exchange experiences and best practices, discuss challenges, and develop innovative solutions related to the implementation of the Action Plan. The Group will also engage with staff from Canadian embassies abroad and women’s groups’ leaders to learn from experiences from the field. Terms of reference will be developed jointly by the government and civil society through the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada (WPSN-C).
Together, the two bodies will ensure that Action Plan implementation is strategic, coordinated, and responsive to new challenges.
Global Affairs Canada Priorities and Action Plan Objectives
Global Affairs Canada’s specific priorities that will help achieve the Action Plan’s common objectives are detailed in an addendum. The priorities all fall within the theory of change categories programming, diplomacy and political leadership, and increased capacity to deliver. For example:
- Global Affairs Canada will program to support the work of local women’s organizations, to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services, and to improve access to justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
- Global Affairs Canada will advocate for women’s participation in peace negotiations in fragile and conflict-affected states, for zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, and for more women in the UN, NATO and the OSCE.
- Global Affairs Canada will increase its capacity through training its personnel on WPS and gender in conflict, by strengthening its collaboration with civil society, and by ensuring that Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is undertaken and applied to policies, strategies and projects.
Global Affairs Canada will maintain strong Canadian leadership on WPS at the UN, NATO and the OSCE, make concerted efforts within the International Organization of La Francophonie, and initiate strategic dialogues to advance the WPS agenda in regional groups and the new Equal Rights Coalition, as well as through the Global Coalition against Daesh and the Network of National WPS Focal Points.
At the UN in New York, Global Affairs Canada will reinvigorate its leadership on WPS issues including through its continuing role as chair of the Group of Friends of 1325, the new Canadian initiative for a Network of Military and Police Advisors focused on Resolution 1325, its membership of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, partnership with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, and its advocacy in the Security Council, the General Assembly, and a range of UN departments, funds, and agencies. Support for efforts to end sexual violence by UN peacekeepers and other international personnel, including humanitarian and development personnel, will remain a priority.
In Geneva, Global Affairs Canada will develop a systematic approach to its efforts to mainstream WPS throughout relevant Geneva-based institutions and processes covering security, human rights, humanitarian issues, migration, health, labour, and disarmament, as well as trade and development. Its priorities will include multilateral partnerships to advance WPS, and supporting women of all ages and women’s organizations from fragile and conflict-affected states to have their priorities heard.
At NATO, Global Affairs Canada will reinforce its activism on WPS and work to integrate gender analysis and initiatives in policies and activities undertaken by NATO and Allies, and support the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for WPS. Global Affairs Canada will also continue to support the participation of the Canadian delegation on the Civil Society Advisory Panel.
At the OSCE, the Canadian mission will support the implementation of the OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality and other OSCE decisions, notably in areas specific to Canada’s objectives for advancing WPS, such as disarmament, and the increased representation of women in managerial positions at the OSCE and in field missions.
To advance the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in the WPS agenda in conflict-affected states, Global Affairs Canada will work with Canadian civil society and Indigenous organizations to share experiences around forming new and constructive relationships. Global Affairs Canada will collaborate with Canadian Indigenous leaders’ to include WPS elements specific to Indigenous women and girls in the work of relevant United Nations organizations and institutions. Global Affairs Canada will identify ongoing opportunities to consult on programs and policies, including on gender-responsive indigenous processes for conflict resolution, to be reported in the first annual Action Plan report.
Geographical Focus and Programming
The Action Plan guides all of Global Affairs Canada’s programming and diplomacy in fragile and conflict-affected states. That said, there are countries and regions where building peace and security is of particular interest to the Government of Canada, and where the Government has already committed significant efforts. Those countries will warrant particular attention under the Action Plan, and will be highlighted in our progress reporting.
Canada’s feminist international assistance policy commits to a significant increase in both targeted and integrated funding that will advance gender equality and empower women and girls. At least 95% of all Global Affairs Canada‘s bilateral international development investments will specifically target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2021-22 (15% targeted and a further 80% integrated).
Global Affairs Canada’s programming will advance gender equality and the WPS agenda through its various mechanisms:
- The Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs), announced by the Government of Canada in August 2016 at $450 million over three years, will reinforce its commitment to gender equality programming and dedicated WPS projects. The Program has a mandate to support the Government’s capacity for: improved political and conflict analysis; early warning; and conflict prevention. At least 95% of all PSOPs funding will explicitly target or integrate WPS activities by 2021-22 (15% targeted (GE 3) and a further 80% integrated (GE 1 and 2).
- The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) is a fund of some $14 million per year for small local projects identified by Canadian missions, including in fragile and conflict-affected states. The CFLI thematic priorities are aligned with the government’s Feminist International Assistance Policy priorities, including women’s empowerment and peace and security. Projects are designed locally to deliver benefits directly to local populations and respond to their needs.
- Global Affairs Canada security capacity building programs will strengthen their gender-responsive and gender transformative approach and programming to fight international crime, including the response to violent extremism.
- Global Affairs Canada will increase advocacy efforts with its humanitarian partners to better address gender equality in humanitarian response and more consistently allocate funding for gender-responsive humanitarian assistance in conflict and complex emergencies.
- The Government of Canada will dedicate $150 million over five years to support local women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights in developing states, including in fragile states, to support and build the capacity of these organizations so that they can better advocate for changes in policies, legislation and services, and more effectively challenge harmful and discriminatory social beliefs and practices.
- The Government of Canada will dedicate $100 million over five years to small and medium-sized Canadian civil society organizations so that they can develop and implement innovative programming in partnership with local organizations to support key government priorities, notably gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
- The investment of $650 million over three years announced by the Government of Canada for support to global efforts for sexual and reproductive health and rights will seek to empower women and adolescent girls through their right to control their bodies and decisions, including in conflict-affected situations where sexual violence is exacerbated.
Progress in Action Plan implementation across all Global Affairs Canada’s funding will be measured using Global Affairs Canada’s gender codes in the context of fragile and conflict-affected states and the WPS agenda.
Global Affairs Canada is committed to supporting inclusive conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict state-building, and will enhance its own and other actors’ capacity to ensure gender-responsive and gender transformative interventions to advance the WPS agenda.
In implementing its commitments under the Action Plan, Global Affairs Canada remains open to other opportunities to strengthen inclusive peace and stabilization efforts, such as supporting the participation of youth in conflict resolution mechanisms, and mitigating the particular risks to women and girls posed by climate change.
Global Affairs Canada’s complete list of priorities, with targets, baselines, activities, and indicators to measure progress in their implementation, is designed per program or branch and provided in an addendum.
Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces
Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces and Women, Peace and Security
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) recognize that armed conflict, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises affect women, men, girls and boys differently. As noted in Canada’s new defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, women’s participation is vital to achieving and sustaining peace, and has a tangible impact on the operational effectiveness of our forces. Women broaden the range of skills and capacities among all categories of personnel, improve the delivery of peace and security tasks, enhance situational awareness and early-warning by facilitating outreach to women in communities, and improve a military force’s accessibility, credibility and effectiveness in working among local populations.
As such, DND/CAF are committed to being a strong partner with Global Affairs Canada in putting women and girls at the centre of Government of Canada efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. Integrating United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and embedding gender perspectives into our policies, training/education and operations are moral and operational imperatives that will contribute to a culture of respect internally and increase DND/CAF effectiveness as it delivers on its mandate.
To achieve the goals of Canada’s renewed National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (the Action Plan), DND/CAF will focus on improved governance, training/education, accountability, recruitment, and the integration of gender perspectives into CAF operations. The five objectives under the Action Plan 2017-2022 are:
- Increase the meaningful participation of women and women’s organizations and networks in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict statebuilding;
- Prevent, respond to and end impunity for sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated in conflict and sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers and other international personnel, including humanitarian and development staff;
- Promote and protect women’s and girls’ human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women’s and girls’ in fragile, conflict and post-conflict settings;
- Meet the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian settings, including the upholding of their sexual rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services; and
- Strengthen the capacity of peace operations to advance the WPS agenda; including by deploying more women and fully embedding the WPS agenda into CAF operations and police deployments.
DND/CAF support for Canada’s renewed Action Plan builds on a number of recent, new directives and initiatives – as set out in Strong, Secure, Engaged – aimed at integrating gender perspectives into our internal policies and into our operations abroad, notably as it relates to recruitment, diversity, responding to inappropriate behaviour, and training/education. DND/CAF will use targets and indicators to track our progress as we implement our strategies to achieve the above goals.
1. Implement the tenets of UNSCR 1325 and implement all aspects of the Departmental Diversity Plan
- Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Directive: In January 2016, the CDS issued his Directive on the Integration of UNSCR 1325 in CAF Operations, Planning and Policy. A keystone document, this directive confirms the CAF’s commitment to UNSCR 1325 and outlines a plan for implementation of key activities that support UNSCR 1325 and all associated resolutions. The directive places special emphasis on supporting operations and includes the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, and the protection of civilians, as well as enhanced training, education and leadership to support the five Action Plan objectives from a military perspective. A UNSCR 1325 Implementation Working Group was established to monitor and help support the implementation of DND/CAF Action Plan initiatives.
- Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) Integration: GBA+ is an analytical tool to assess the potential impacts of policies, programs, services and other initiatives on diverse groups of people, taking into account gender and a range of other identity factors. DND/CAF is fully committed to using GBA+ in the development and execution of defence operations, policies and programs and used GBA+ in the development of Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged. Recognizing that conflict, natural disasters and humanitarian crises affect people differently, the Defence team is integrating GBA+ into the planning and execution of operations as a means to both improve operational effectiveness and meet the needs of those disproportionately affected by conflict and crisis.
- Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Champion: The CDS and the Deputy Minister (DM) named the first DND/CAF GBA+ and WPS Champion. The Champion is a General Officer who will lead efforts to achieve organizational culture change on these issues. Specifically, the Champion will advocate for and support efforts to ensure that respect and equality are the basis of institutional success and GBA+ is integrated into DND/CAF operations and institutions so that it becomes a routine part of all activities, policies and programs across DND/CAF.
- Gender Advisors: The CAF have established a Director for Integration of Gender Perspectives who will provide guidance and advice on the continued implementation of GBA +. The CAF have also established military gender advisor positions in the Strategic Joint Staff, the Canadian Joint Operations Command, and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. These individuals will advise on gender in operational planning and doctrine, as well as on inclusion and gender equality when working with other nations. The first CAF gender advisor is currently undergoing pre-deployment training and will be deployed to Task Force Europe in August 2017, and will work with partner nations to seek additional opportunities to deploy gender advisors (GENADS). In addition, each CAF operation now has at least one member fulfilling the role of a part-time “gender focal point”. Gender focal points are trained to advise the operational Commander on gender mainstreaming in a theatre of operations.
2. Recruitment and Retention to leverage Canada’s diverse population
Baseline: The CAF will continue to seek to increase the number of women in the CAF as well as improve retention of women in the forces.
- Recruitment: As noted in Canada’s new defence policy, the CAF must reflect the diversity of the country we defend. In particular, the CAF is committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining more women across all ranks and promoting women into senior leadership positions. Currently, 15% of CAF members are women. In February 2016, the CDS directed the CAF to further increase the percentage of women in the armed forces by 1% annually towards a goal of 25% by 2026. This will not only contribute to positive culture change within the CAF, but will also increase overall operational effectiveness.
- Diversity and Employment Equity: More broadly, the CAF is committed to building a workforce that leverages the diversity of Canadian society. This will help enhance military operational effectiveness by drawing on all the strengths of Canada’s population and helping DND/CAF develop a deeper understanding of our complex operational environment. In 2016, the CAF launched a new Diversity Strategy and Action Plan. This plan will promote an institution-wide culture that embraces diversity and inclusion – including reinforcing diversity in the identity of the CAF and in CAF doctrine, modernizing career management and policies to support diversity and inclusion, and conducting targeted research to better understand diversity within DND.
- Employment Equity: DND and the CAF both have well established Employment Equity Plans, which are focused on establishing a workplace that is fair, respectful, inclusive and supportive of diversity, and a workforce that is reflective of Canada’s population. These plans are in compliance with the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and are regularly re-evaluated and reported upon and results tabled annually in Parliament.
- Responding to Inappropriate Behaviour: In 2015, Justice Marie Deschamps released the findings of her external review of CAF policies, procedures, and programs in relation to sexual harassment and assault. Her report offered ten recommendations to drive culture change to address the situation. The CAF’s raison d’être is to defend Canadians and Canadian values across the country and around the world, regardless of the dangers and difficulties. The CAF cannot defend such values if it does not completely uphold and embody them. Based on this principle, the CDS established Operation HONOUR to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour within the CAF. Operation HONOUR seeks to effect a positive institutional culture change in the CAF by: understanding the issues of harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour; responding more decisively to incidents; supporting victims more effectively; and preventing incidents from occurring. The CDS also directed the establishment of Sexual Offence Strategic Response Teams to coordinate the development of policies, education, training, and additional member support; and to submit reports on progress that will be publicly available.
3. Education and Training
Baseline: Increase awareness of gender perspectives and GBA+ through education and training.
- GBA+ in Education and Training: The WPS agenda and GBA+ are now included in various senior officer Professional Development courses – such as those provided by the Canadian Forces College and the Canadian Army Staff College as well as Navy, Army and Air Force educational institutions – to ensure that gender perspectives are integrated into pre-deployment training and operation planning. In addition, GBA+ and the Government of Canada policy on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) have been incorporated into pre-deployment training provided by the CAF Peace Support Training Centre. Most deploying CAF members are now required to complete online gender perspective courses provided by NATO. Moreover, the Status of Women Canada GBA+ course is now mandatory for key organizations and planners within the CAF (and will be mandatory for all CAF members by 2018). Finally, a review of the CAF Professional Military Education system is underway to ensure GBA+ is embedded in the CAF training from the beginning of a member’s career.
- Pre-deployment Training: As part of pre-deployment training for the CAF, the Canadian Peace Support Training Center (PSTC) currently delivers lessons on human rights, protection of civilians, WPS, conflict-related sexual violence, child protection and SEA and human trafficking, based upon the training material provided by the UN DPKO Integrated Training Service. These topics have increased in importance in recent years and will continue to evolve and take on greater significance as the UN Security Council continues the adopted practice of invoking Chapter VII of the Charter (peace enforcement mandate) when authorizing the deployment of UN peacekeeping operations into volatile post-conflict settings where the State is unable to maintain security and public order.
- Training with Allies: DND sponsors the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP), which provides a wide range of training to its member countries with the aim of enhancing interoperability in peace support operations. Gender-sensitive topics are formally integrated into some of MTCP’s activities. The MTCP targets the military leadership of member countries in order to positively influence corporate culture and senior level decision-making in those countries. Activities such as the MTCP Gender, Peace and Security workshop and symposium are specifically designed to address WPS. This course seeks to improve students’ understanding of the impacts associated with the increased presence and role of women in military organizations. It provides participants with an overview of the human rights implications associated with the deployment of women in multinational peace support operations and improves the students’ awareness of gender issues as they relate to peace support. In 2016-2017, the MTCP delivered three iterations of its Gender, Peace and Security workshop in Jordan, Colombia, and Côte d’Ivoire, reaching an audience of approximately 130 students.
4. Support International cooperation on Women, Peace and Security
Baseline: DND/CAF will engage with foreign defence and security organizations to implement the tenets of UNSCR 1325.
- International Leadership: In the UN fora, during the annual negotiations of the UN Sub-Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34), the DND representatives continue to reinforce the importance of gender mainstreaming and the proportional differences and increase in women deployed as peacekeepers can make. Within NATO, the Canadian representatives to the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP), continue to be fully engaged in supporting the continued efforts on implementing UNSCR 1325 within NATO and NATO partner Nations. DND and CAF have responded to and will continue to take advantage of every opportunity to dialogue (key leader engagements, round tables, panels and conferences) with other militaries on the importance of Gender mainstreaming and increasing deployment opportunities for women in the military.
- CAF “Five Eyes Plus” Gender Conference: The CAF hosted its first “Five Eyes Plus” Gender Conference in Ottawa on 16 to18 May 2017. The conference focused on the integration of UNSCR 1325 and the challenges faced by each member nation. CAF will continue to work with like-minded partners and countries to share lessons learned and best practices in order to improve and shape the development of our operational practices for more effective coalition operations.
Through the new initiatives described above, DND/CAF have established a strong foundation to support the implementation of DND/CAF activities that advance the WPS agenda. Over the course of the renewed Action Plan 2017-2022, DND/CAF will focus on implementing and tracking these initiatives, with a view to delivering results – for example to further integrate GBA+ within DND, meet recruitment targets, and increase the number of uniformed women deployed to international operations. DND/CAF, as a committed partner, has identified a number of priority activities to support the ongoing implementation of the Action Plan, consistent with Canada’s new defence policy. These activities are organized around the following themes:
- Training and Education;
- Recruitment and Retention; and
- Integration into Operations.
Each of these themes have specific targets that will be measured and reported on an annual basis, and if required, may be re-examined in line with the departmental and Government of Canada priorities. The detailed list of DND/CAF targets for the Action Plan 2017-2022 – including baselines, activities, and indicators to measure progress – is provided below.
Context: DND/CAF will establish and update departmental directives, policies and guidelines to ensure gender perspectives are embedded in all processes, policies procedures and associated documentation.
Continue to implement the tenets of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions and implement all aspects of the Departmental Diversity strategy.
Target 1.1: Further integration of a Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) perspective within National Defence.
Baseline: Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Directive for Integrating UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions into CAF Planning and Operations.
Target 1.2: Effective support for and implementation of the CAF Diversity Strategy and Action Plan.
Baseline: CAF Diversity Strategy and the CDS approved Action Plan as per January 2017.
Support international cooperation to on WPS
Target 1.3: DND and CAF continue to engage with like-minded foreign defence and security organizations on implementing tenets of UNSCR 1325.
|2 Training and education|
Context: National Defence continues with the objective to integrate gender perspectives and GBA + as part of the curriculum for all relevant leadership, planning and procurement courses provided to military and civilian staff. Training provided to foreign military staff through the Military Capability Training Program (MCTP) also has curriculum focused on gender perspectives and the importance of conducting GBA+, and includes awareness and training on SEA.
Direct mandatory completion of the Status of Women GBA + Introduction Course within the National Defence.
Target 2.1: Mandatory completion of the on-line GBA+ Introduction course for all National Defence military and civilian staff.
Assess current and future Gender perspectives and GBA+ training and education approaches
Target 2.2: Assess current Gender and GBA+ training and scope any additional training required.
Baseline: Gender Perspectives training currently incorporated into 14 CAF courses including pre-deployment training provided by the Army Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC) in Kingston as well as courses provided by the MCTP.
Context: National Defence is committed to the tenets of UNSCR 1325 and to ensuring that National Defence continues to lead in all aspects of Gender equality, both within the institution at home and abroad. CAF was one of the first militaries to open all employment opportunities to women and will continue to Champion WPS and gender issues. The Defence Team leadership will continue to work with other Government of Canada departments and agencies, as well as with like-minded partners, to assert the rights of women, men, girls, and boys in all fora. National Defence leadership is committed to ensuring that gender perspectives are woven into our daily activities and will advocate for the advancement of the WPS agenda when we engage bilaterally or in multi-national fora, including NATO and the UN.
Continue to enhance the role of the CAF UNSCR 1325 Working Group (UIWG)
Target 3.1: Continue to enhance the role and membership of the CAF UNSCR 1325 Working Group (UIWG).
Baseline: UIWG established
DM establishes a GBA + directive
Target 3.2: DM publishes a GBA + directive NLT winter 2017.
Baseline: Directive currently in draft.
Target 3.3: Ensure continued departmental representation at the Status of Women (SWC) led Interdepartmental Committee (IDC) on GBA+.
Baseline: Current DND and CAF representation on the IDC.
Activity: 3.3.1 Ensure appropriate representation on the IDC.
|4 Recruitment and retention|
Context: Further to the CDS Directive on Recruitment, the CAF will continue to seek to increase the number of women within the CAF, and in turn the number of women available to be promoted to senior positions or for deployment. Recruiting processes including advertising, wait process times, job availability, application procedures, testing, medical and fitness standards are all aspects that affect the decision process of a potential new recruit. In addition, aspects such as family balance, job enjoyment, selection for professional development, velocity of promotion and safe and harassment free work environment are all factors that contribute to making the CAF an “Employer of Choice”.
Increase the recruitment of women to the CAF
Target 4.1: Increase the percentage of women in the Canadian military by 1% per year to achieve a desired goal of 25% by the end of FY 2026.
Baseline: Percentage of women in the Canadian military is 14.9 % (Based on CAF Employment Equity Report for fiscal year 2015-2016.
Increase the retention of women in the CAF
Target 4.2: Understand the major reason for the release of women from the CAF and eliminate/mitigate any issues if they are identified.
Baseline: N/A (annual release numbers).
Increase the number of Women in Senior level positions in National Defence
Target 4.3: Increase the number and proportion of women at Senior Levels Non Commissioned Members, Officers and executive-level) DND and CAF.
Baseline: CAF Employment Equity Report 2015-2016 Schedule 6
|5 Integration into operations|
Context: Modern international and domestic operations require members of the CAF to interact with host nation forces and local populations. It is critical that CAF members understand how conflict can affect diverse populations of women, men, boys and girls differently, and can identify risks to the local population that could be incurred by engaging with military forces. As such, we must ensure our members have the right tools and mindset to deal effectively with diverse and often vulnerable populations. Due to cultural norms, religious affiliations or past experience, some segments of the population may have difficulty interacting with military forces that are predominantly male. This reflects the need to ensure that adequate numbers of female military members are represented in key functions that may interact with diverse segments of the population. Integrating gender perspectives into military operations as well as deploying women at all rank levels is essential to achieving mission success - both in terms of contributing to peace and security and advancing gender equality.
Increase the number of women deployed in International Operations
Target 5.1: Promote and increase the number of uniformed women deployed to international operations (NATO, UN, and Coalition).
Baseline: Regular Force women in international operations calculated at 11.6% and Reserve Force women at 17.5%.
Establish GENADs in all specified units
Target 5.2: Support the number of staff employed as Gender Advisors (GENAD)
Baseline: There are three GENADS in the CAF (one at the strategic level and two at the operational level).
Establish GFP in all specified units
Target 5.3: Gender Advisors and /or Gender Focal Points (GFP) are fully integrated in all operations (Domestic and International).
Baseline: Ten GFP are trained and ready to deploy.
Public Safety Canada
Public Safety Canada and Women, Peace and Security
Public Safety Canada and its various portfolio agencies will play a critical role in advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda over the span of Canada’s National Action Plan (the Action Plan) on WPS 2017-2022. With its growing role to lead Canada’s domestic response to radicalization to violence, the department will coordinate and develop policy expertise, mobilize community outreach, and enhance research in countering radicalization to violence through the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre). It will also continue to lead the Government of Canada’s effort to combat human trafficking.
Countering Radicalization to Violence
In June 2017, the Government of Canada announced the launch of the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre), within Public Safety Canada. As a centre of excellence, the Canada Centre will engage with and support the efforts of key stakeholders including federal departments and agencies, provincial, territorial and municipal partners, researchers, community organizations, frontline professionals working to prevent individuals from radicalizing to violence.
The term “radicalization to violence” refers to a process where a person or group takes on extreme ideas or beliefs and begins to think they should use violence to support them. These acts of violence can take place in Canada or in other countries. Different people radicalize to violence for different reasons and it is not a problem facing one type of religion, culture or background.
Radicalization to violence is a complicated problem that experts internationally are still trying to understand. Public Safety Canada has been at the forefront of building the evidence base through initiatives like the Kanishka Project, which has contributed to how leading-edge approaches on countering radicalization to violence (CRV) integrate the tenets of the WPS agenda, with a central place for considering the specific needs and strengths of communities, families, women and youth.
The Canada Centre will also invest in partnerships and innovation in CRV research and domestic programming through the Community Resilience Fund.
Often there are already important capabilities and forms of expertise at the local level or in closely related fields, such as crime prevention, efforts to combat hate and conflict, and public or clinical health. As such, it is important that efforts to draw from such expertise to assess threats, as well as to prevent them, are well-grounded in research and analysis, including a detailed picture of how factors of risk – as well as factors that protect against risk – exist in particular places, at specific times.
The Canada Centre is being built on these research foundations. As a result, local intervention and prevention efforts are expected to integrate a thorough consideration of gender, diversity and the role of women from the outset. In short, GBA+ has been woven into policy, program, research and measurement and evaluation tools at the Canada Centre, and will have a central place in the development and implementation of a national CRV strategy.
This integrated approach to gender, diversity and CRV informs early investment priorities for the Canada Centre’s Community Resilience Fund, which include:
- support for new or existing local intervention initiatives that aim to redirect at-risk individuals off the path of radicalization to violence;
- improve performance measurement and evaluation tools to better assess the effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs;
- develop research on key questions linked to policy/program design, and operational context, including barriers to communication between community members and authorities (including a focus on family members and peers), as well as effective training and information resources for frontline workers; and
- support credible voices from within communities to initiate counter-messaging and alternatives narratives that reflect local context.
The broad, collaborative approach to CRV means that Public Safety Canada is working with other departments and agencies, as well as other levels of government, to connect and complement efforts in such areas. In addition to direct collaboration with Global Affairs Canada on the WPS agenda, a number of other core federal partners for the Canada Centre have important lead roles on GBA+, including Canadian Heritage, Status of Women Canada, the Public Health Agency, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Partnership with these organizations will support the Canada Centre’s efforts to engage key communities, and draw on research and evidence-based programming to support Canada’s CRV efforts.
Specifically, investment by the Canada Centre is expected to support lead departments and agencies in Action Plan implementation by:
- developing evidence based-tools to support local program and practitioner needs that include gender-responsive approaches to preventing violent extremism and evaluating the impact of those interventions; and
- connecting domestic and international initiatives to better understand what works, including the intersection of gender and CRV.
Public Safety’s involvement in international fora like the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the United Nations is expected to grow as the Office expands its role to lead on CRV domestically. For example, this will happen in part through collaboration and sharing of lessons amongst policy-makers, practitioners and researchers domestically with their counterparts internationally.
The department’s primary mission is domestic. Through its work on countering radicalization to violence and other internationally connected efforts, it will nevertheless contribute to the implementation of Canada’s Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Women, Peace and Security
Through the renewed Canada’s National Action Plan (the Action Plan) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) re-affirms and strengthens its commitment to advance gender equality and the participation, empowerment and protection of women and girls in the pursuit of peace in fragile and conflict-affected situations.
The Action Plan recognizes Canada’s role in ensuring that its policies, programs, and initiatives abroad positively impact the diverse groups of women and girls living in these insecure environments. Similarly, the RCMP’s contribution to the Action Plan 2017-22 acknowledges that the security of women and girls is closely linked to broader international security, and as such, women and girls must be considered and empowered in the establishment of global peace and security.
Canada’s International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program
On behalf of the Canadian Policing Arrangement, a partnership between the RCMP, Public Safety Canada and Global Affairs Canada, the RCMP manages the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations (IPP) Program. In particular, the RCMP is responsible for recruiting, screening, selecting, training, and deploying Canadian law enforcement officials to international peace operations, and bilateral and other missions. This includes mission/deployment planning, assessment and reporting. Additionally, the RCMP is responsible for providing duty of care support to Canadian law enforcement personnel while in mission, and during their reintegration at home.
To date, the Program has supported the deployment of over 3,900 Canadian police officers to various peace operation missions led by the United Nations, European Union, and other multilateral organizations, as well as to diverse countries on a bilateral basis to support police development and other security sector reform efforts. Presently, Canadian officers are deployed to missions in Colombia, Haiti, Iraq, Ukraine, and the West Bank, with more deployments on the horizon. Further, a senior RCMP police officer is deployed to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations (UN) to work with the UN bodies, member states and other partners to represent the Canadian police community and to advance and advise on all matters related to Canada’s police participation in UN peace operations, including the implementation of the WPS agenda.
The strength of the Program is due, in large part, to the strong representation of municipal, regional and provincial police services among the number of Canadian police officers deployed abroad. Presently, the CPA partners with 28 Canadian police agencies across Canada.
Through the IPP Program, Canadian police have directly supported WPS principles while serving in an international peace operation/mission, including the prevention and/or response to sexual and gender-based violence, and the advancement of gender equality. Key accomplishments during the first Action Plan include:
- the integration of WPS principles into pre-deployment training for all Canadian police officers deployed to international peace operations/missions;
- the update of IPP Program police selection process to actively recruit and select women officers for service in international operations/missions;
- the deployment of Canadian instructors to UN All-Female Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment Team training projects in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Rwanda and other locations, to increase the pass rates of women police officers interested in participating in UN missions; and
- the development and implementation of policies to prevent, investigate and address sexual exploitation and abuse allegations against deployed Canadian police officers.
Commitment to Gender Equality and Inclusion within the RCMP
Promoting gender equality and increasing diversity at all levels remains a key priority for the RCMP. The RCMP’s initiatives are set against the backdrop of the Government of Canada’s commitment to the implementation of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+), as the articulation of the government-wide approach to “gender mainstreaming.” GBA+ is used to ensure that policies, programs and other initiatives are developed in consideration of gender and other diversity factors.
In late 2016, the RCMP created a new Workforce Culture and Employee Engagement (WCEE) unit, to promote gender equality and culture change over the long term. While the WCEE Strategy is currently under development, it will include implementing a targeted approach to ensure the use of GBA+ across the organization, as a way of identifying barriers and developing strategies to increase diversity, and to inform effective operational approaches. In the near term, this will include applying a GBA+ lens to recruitment and promotional policies and practices.
The WCEE activities will complement the renewal of the RCMP’s National Diversity and Employment Equity Plan, to be released in 2017.
The RCMP currently has five Employment Equity National Advisory Committees:
- RCMP Aboriginal Employee Council;
- National Advisory Committee for Visible Minorities;
- National Women's Advisory Committee;
- National Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities;
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans/Two-Spirited National Advisory Committee.
These committees provide important recommendations through their respective senior Champions, on ways to address employment equity issues and advocate on behalf of employees at the national level and within the RCMP’s Divisions. In 2018-19, a new RCMP Diversity Council will be created to link all five National Advisory Committees, and to set the strategic direction for diversity and inclusion in the RCMP.
Priority Areas for Action on Women, Peace and Security in the Renewed National Action Plan
Under the renewed Action Plan, the RCMP remains committed to enhancing the participation, empowerment and protection of women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected states by taking a more gender-sensitive approach. Specifically, the RCMP will focus on four key priority areas for action: (1) strengthened governance and accountability at home and abroad; (2) enhanced capability to undertake WPS and gender analysis in the design and planning of gender-sensitive programming; (3) enhanced gender-sensitive elements within police peace operations programming in fragile and conflict-affected states, including preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse; and (4) continued focus on deploying more women police officers in international peace operations/missions, especially in senior and/or influential positions.
The RCMP will undertake key activities under each priority area, as outlined below. Throughout the implementation of the Action Plan, these activities will be updated and adjusted, as required.
The RCMP is committed to continued dialogue with the various partners and stakeholders on WPS-related matters to further inform and support activities under Action Plan 2017-2022. It intends to contribute to various interdepartmental meetings and discussions with civil society, including the Action Plan Advisory Group and the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) Advisory Board, to support the development and integration of gender-sensitive programming, and the sharing of lessons and practices.
In addition, the RCMP and its CPA partners will engage more within the UN, other multilateral bodies and through bilateral missions to provide leadership or influence WPS-related policies, programs and initiatives. This could include providing mentorship, sharing lessons learned and best practices, as well as supporting other actors in carrying out gender-sensitive programming.
Gender, diversity and inclusion, and their pursuit within the WPS agenda, are important. Peace support operations have become increasingly complex and sustainable progress cannot be achieved by any player acting alone. It is recognized that a comprehensive multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach is needed to collectively achieve more inclusive, equitable and stable societies, where women and girls have a permanent and meaningful seat at the table.
The RCMP’s complete list of commitments, with targets, baselines, activities, and indicators to measure progress in implementation, is as follows:
Context: The Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Global Affairs Canada, and Public Safety Canada, seeks to advance Canadian foreign policy, and international security and development priorities and objectives. In particular, this includes supporting Canada’s commitments to re-engage with the United Nations and other international partners, and to build a more secure world by providing Canada’s valuable policing capabilities and expertise through the deployment of Canadian police officers and civilian law enforcement experts abroad. The CPA was renewed in 2016 until the end of fiscal year 2020-21, with annual funding of $46.9 million until the end of fiscal year 2018-19.
The RCMP is responsible for managing the CPA deployment mechanism – the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations (IPP) Program. This Program’s key activities include the recruitment, screening, selection, preparation, training, deployment, support and reintegration of Canadian law enforcement personnel deployed under the CPA, as well as deployment planning, assessment, and reporting. The RCMP also provides duty of care support to Canadian law enforcement personnel while in mission, and during their reintegration home.
The IPP Program deploys Canadian law enforcement personnel to various international peace operations; international criminal courts, tribunals, commissions and enquiries; bilateral missions; short-term training and rapid response activities; as well as to multilateral institutions to support the development of international policy, standards and norms related to police peace support operations.
The IPP Program supports and advances a broad array of Women, Peace and Security (WPS)-related efforts, such as increasing the number of Canadian women deployed on peacekeeping mission, training women police in foreign countries interested in serving on UN missions; raising awareness of and investigating sexual and gender-based violence, and contributing to gender-related policy initiatives at the UN and other multilateral fora.
Civil society has an important role to play in the renewed Action Plan. The CPA and IPP Program will continue to engage with civil society through various mechanisms throughout its implementation.
Strengthen Governance and Accountability
Target: Systematic integration of WPS and GBA+ within the governance of the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations (IPP) Program
Baseline: In the fiscal year 2016/17, there is awareness of WPS and GBA+ within the RCMP, including within the IPP Program. Concrete actions have been taken to entrench these considerations within the Program, including the addition of a session on the principles of WPS in pre-deployment training for Canadian police and updates to the recruitment and selection process to encourage women officers to apply to deploy to a peace operation/mission.
Target: Further promotion of gender equality and diversity at all levels within the RCMP
Baseline: Enhancing gender equality and diversity at all levels is a key RCMP priority. Recent initiatives related to gender and respect include the establishment of an RCMP Gender and Diversity Champion and efforts to raise the knowledge and implementation of GBA+ within the RCMP. Additional activities to be identified by the end of fiscal year 2018/19.
Enhance capability to undertake WPS and gender analysis in the design and planning of gender-sensitive programming
Target: Increased knowledge and capacity of IPP Program personnel to design and plan gender-sensitive programming in fragile and conflict-affected states based on WPS principles and GBA+.
Baseline: The online Status of Women Canada GBA+ training is a mandatory requirement for IPP Program management and IPP Program personnel are also encouraged to complete it. While there is general awareness of the WPS agenda within the Program, there are few resources how on WPS principles and gender considerations are to be applied when designing and planning programming. Baseline to be determined in the fiscal year 2017/18.
Enhance gender-sensitive elements within police peace operations, including preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse by UN Peacekeepers
Target: Enhanced ability of Canadian police officers deployed to peace operations/missions to deliver gender-sensitive programming in fragile and conflict-affected states
Baseline: The RCMP provides pre-deployment training to all Canadian police officers deployed to a peace operation/mission. Pre-deployment training modules for Canadian police to be deployed include content on WPS, codes of conduct, preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), and cultural awareness. Within the IPP Program, further work is ongoing to determine how to enhance this training. The ability of Canadian police officers deployed to undertake gender-sensitive programming could also be enhanced by providing greater technical support during deployment and by greater engagement with organizations/ministries involved in or affected by gender-related issues. Baseline and additional indicators to be determined by the end of fiscal year 2018/19.
Target: Continued work with partners to implement zero-tolerance policies on sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in peace operations/missions.
Baseline: The RCMP, and its CPA partners, strongly supports the UN’s zero tolerance policy on SEA and takes all allegations of SEA or other misconduct within peace operations seriously. The RCMP also has a zero-tolerance policy on SEA by Canadian police officers in mission, and is actively engaged in preventing and responding to allegations. RCMP measures to prevent SEA include informing Canadian officers of its zero-tolerance policy prior to and during pre-deployment training in Canada, requiring officers to sign a letter prior to deployment agreeing to abide by the policy while deployed, establishing an obligation to report, and providing training on conduct, discipline SEA and other related matters. Additional indicators to be determined by the end of fiscal year 2018/19.
Continue to focus on deploying women police officers in international peace operations /missions
Target: Deploy at least 20% Canadian women police to peace operations/missions under the IPP Program, including in senior and/or influential positions
Baseline: The RCMP recognizes that the participation of Canadian women police is paramount to the success of international police peace operations and missions. The IPP Program aims to meet or exceed the UN target of having 20% women in police missions. A survey to determine the opportunities and barriers related to women’s participation is under development. The results of this survey will inform the development of an action plan to identify and address barriers impeding the active and meaningful participation of women in international police peace operations.
Target: Continued collaboration with the UN, police-contributing countries and other partners to foster the participation of women in peace operations/missions
Baseline: Through various mechanisms, the IPP program supports the UN and other partners in increasing the number of women police deployed to international operations/missions. For instance, since 2014, Canada has deployed Canadian police instructors to the UN’s All-Female Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment (SAAT) training projects in Benin, Guinea, Niger, Togo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon, as well as to a similar training project for men and women in Colombia. These projects are aimed at helping increase the number of women police officers from these countries who are selected to serve on UN peacekeeping missions by preparing candidates to meet UN testing requirements. Additional activities to be determined by the end of fiscal year 2018/19.
Status of Women Canada
Status of Women Canada and Women, Peace and Security
The Government of Canada continues to prioritize the advancement of gender equality, supported by the implementation of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) across all federal departments and agencies. Status of Women Canada (SWC) is the lead for the implementation of the Government’s commitment to apply GBA+.
SWC’s primary role is building GBA+ capacity across federal organizations. This includes the development and provision of tools and training to federal departments and agencies. SWC provides introductory training for all government employees through its online course and collaborates with departments on more targeted training for specific sectors, including the security and defence sector.
On an ongoing basis, SWC provides direct GBA+ expertise and advice on key Government of Canada initiatives, including activities of Canada’s National Action Plan (the Action Plan) on Women Peace and Security (WPS) partner departments, to ensure that all plans, programs and/or initiatives and peace support operations are responsive to gender considerations.
Status of Women Canada’s Role and Approach to Gender-based Analysis Plus
The GBA+ Action Plan (2016-2020) launched by Status of Women Canada, the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board Secretariat, laid out detailed commitments to increase the integration of GBA+ across government, including:
- enhance GBA+ training and capacity in key sectors across government;
- convene ‘clusters’ of like-minded departments to promote information-sharing and collaboration among members in order to support sustainable GBA+ implementation across the federal government;
- increase accountability, monitoring, and reporting through the collection and analysis of detailed GBA+ reports from all departments and by developing a more robust monitoring framework; and,
- increase the availability of information to inform rigorous GBA+.
Since the tabling of the GBA+ Action Plan, significant progress has been made in all areas, including measures to create new requirements for GBA+ in Cabinet proposals, establishment and strengthening of networks, GBA+ implementation survey, and enhanced GBA+ training and tools for officials.
The Government of Canada published its first-ever gender-based assessment of budgetary measures in Budget 2017. This set Canada on a path of continuous improvement in ensuring that gender is considered in all stages of the budget cycle, and reinforced the requirement for departments to integrate gender perspectives into their work. The Government has directed that GBA+ be integrated into Departmental Results Frameworks, Departmental Plans and performance reporting, thereby strengthening the ability to monitor the impact of GBA+ on government program, policies and/or initiatives. The Government of Canada has also directed that GBA+ be integrated into the design and conduct of future government consultations.
Collaboration with Action Plan Partners on Women, Peace and Security
SWC works particularly closely with the lead Action Plan partner departments (Global Affairs Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Department of National Defence (DND)/the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)) to increase their capacity to apply a gender and diversity lens to their policies, plans and operations.
SWC is leading the development and implementation of the strategy to address gender-based violence, in which DND/CAF and the RCMP are partners. In conjunction with the strategy, SWC is supporting Action Plan lead partners on internal cultural change initiatives geared to increasing the number of women able to deploy in support of peace operations. Specifically:
- SWC has been working with the RCMP and DNA/CAF to help them develop their internal capacity to apply GBA+ - a “gender lens” in Women, Peace and Security (WPS) terminology – to their internal policies, plans and programs in support of their internal culture change initiatives. This has included the collaborative development of advanced GBA+ training for policy personnel;
- Timeline: RCMP and DND/CAF collaborated with SWC, the Centre for Intercultural Learning and five other operational organizations in the design and implementation of advanced GBA+ training for the security and defence sector in February 2017
- SWC is also working with various partners (including the RCMP and DND/CAF) on initiatives to address gender-based violence, including participating in the development of a new federal regime to ensure federal workplaces are free from harassment and sexual violence.
- Timeline: Fall 2019
- SWC is also supporting the RCMP in reviewing current gender- and culturally-sensitive training policies for federal front-line law enforcement officers to ensure that they are strong and effective and in building GBA+ capacity, in keeping with additional commitments outlined in the mandate letter of the Minister of Status of Women.
- Timeline: RCMP developing cultural competency training by fall 2019, as part of the SWC-led federal Gender-Based Violence Strategy.
Status of Women Canada also works closely with Global Affairs Canada in preparing for and in negotiating the Agreed Conclusions of the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women, which includes advancing the Government of Canada’s position on WPS.
SWC will continue to promote and support the integration of GBA+ across government, including through the development of new training and tools.
SWC will be working with federal organizations, particularly with lead Action Plan partner departments (Global Affairs Canada, the RCMP, and the DND/CAF) to identify and document best practices that can be shared publicly, including at the international level.
As a means of showcasing Canada’s leadership on GBA+ and in order to engage key experts, SWC will host a national GBA+ roundtable in 2018, with a focus on sharing results and best practices, and on engaging men in advancing equality.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Women, Peace and Security
In keeping with the principles of the Canadian National Action Plan (the Action Plan) on Women Peace and Security (WPS), the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognizes that women and children are particularly vulnerable to being targeted for sexual and gender-based violence in situations of conflict and state fragility. As a result, the Department has put in place a number of policies and programs designed to provide protection to women and children in protracted conflict situations.
Contributions on the International Stage
On the international stage, following the September 2016 New York Declaration, IRCC, Global Affairs Canada and relevant partners have been actively engaged in the United Nations (UN) process of developing the Global Compacts on Refugees and on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which aim to improve how the international community responds to large movements of migrants and refugees. IRCC and the Government of Canada is advocating for Global Compacts that provide concrete actionable measures that strengthen and better protect vulnerable refugees and migrants on the move, including women and girls.
IRCC places a high priority on the protection of refugee women and recognizes their unique protection needs. Through the Women at Risk program, Canada provides resettlement opportunities to women abroad in precarious or permanently unstable situations who do not have the formal protection of a family unit. This includes women who are experiencing significant difficulties, such as harassment by local authorities or members of their own communities.
A recent initiative is the Government’s response to the June 2016 UN Report which concluded that the Islamic State of Iraq was committing genocide towards Yazidis, particularly women and girls. In response, Canada committed to resettle 1,200 Yazidi women and girls and other survivors of Daesh by the end of 2017.
Considerations in the Asylum System Regarding Gender-related Persecution
In addition to programs for resettling vulnerable women and children from abroad, the in-Canada asylum system provides gender-specific protection to in-Canada refugee claimants who have fled conflicts or fragile states. The Department has developed specific program delivery instructions with respect to processing in-Canada claims for refugee protection of minors and other vulnerable persons. Provisions include ensuring a vulnerable person’s physical comfort; being sensitive to cultural and gender issues; and efforts to allow victims of sexual violence the option of choosing the gender of the interviewing officer.
Additionally, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), which hears asylum claims, has a set of guidelines specifically on how to treat vulnerable groups, including women refugee claimants fearing gender-related persecution. In May 2017, the IRB also announced a new Guideline to promote greater understanding of cases involving sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and the harm individuals may face due to their non-conformity with socially accepted norms. This Guideline aims to promote a greater understanding of the diversity and complexity that can be associated with having diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression; establish guiding principles for decision-makers in adjudicating cases; and provide parties with a clearer understanding of what to expect when appearing before the IRB.
Supporting Settlement and Integration in Canada
IRCC also recognizes the significant contributions that newcomer women make to the economic, social, civic, and cultural life of Canada, and their key role in the settlement and integration of the family unit once they have arrived to Canada. Migration to Canada can bring many opportunities for women, but can also include distinct and multiple challenges such as navigating a new language, work transitions, childcare responsibilities, developing new networks, and shifts in family dynamics. To address these challenges, the Settlement Program funds a range of targeted settlement services that can be accessed by newcomer refugee women such as mentoring, information and orientation on rights and responsibilities, women’s only employment and language supports, and family and gender-based violence prevention support. In addition, child-minding and transportation services are offered to ensure that mothers, who may be the ones who primarily take on childcare responsibilities and feel unable to physically attend meetings or courses, are able to access these integration services.
In 2016-17, 338,313 unique clients accessed at least one settlement service; of those, 59% (198,853) were women.
In support of the Syrian resettlement effort, Canada funded enhancements to support the unique settlement needs of Syrian refugee women. These included additional conversation circles specifically for women to enable them to establish valuable social connections, learn about available community supports, practice their new language skills, and reduce isolation.
Actions to Address Gender-Based Violence of Newcomers to Canada
The Department recently rolled out three years of new programming, which includes new and innovative gender-based violence interventions for newcomer women and families, including activities to mitigate the risks of exposure to gender-based violence by strengthening knowledge of Canadian laws, social cohesion, and referrals to essential community supports specializing in violence prevention. Many service provider organizations have strong partnerships with local transition houses, police, and key emergency services.
In April 2017, IRCC removed a regulatory requirement that applied to some sponsored spouses or partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to live with their sponsor for two years as a condition to maintaining their permanent resident status. Previously, conditional permanent residence was in place for sponsored spouses or partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who were in a relationship of two years or less and had no children in common at the time of their sponsorship application. Sponsored spouses or partners were required to live with their sponsor for two years or risk losing their permanent resident status. Eliminating conditional permanent residence addresses concerns that vulnerable sponsored spouses or partners may stay in abusive relationships out of fear of losing their permanent resident status. This change is aligned with overall government efforts to support gender equality and combat gender-based violence.
Actions to Reduce Vulnerability in the Immigration System
IRCC has taken other steps designed to reduce vulnerability in the immigration system. In June 2015, a regulatory amendment to increase the minimum age of a recognized spouse from 16 to 18 in all permanent and temporary immigration programs came into effect. This was intended to decrease the number of potentially vulnerable young spouses immigrating to Canada who may not have the capacity to act in their own best interest, and could prevent some forced marriages from occurring. At the same time, regulations came into force to ensure that marriages that were conducted by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet or other similar forms (i.e. marriages where one or both parties were not physically present at the marriage ceremony), would no longer be recognized within permanent and temporary immigration programs.
Integration of Gender-based Analysis Plus in IRCC’s Policies and Programs
IRCC is committed to integrating Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to assess the potential impacts of its policies, programs, services and other initiatives on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people, taking into account gender and other identity factors (e.g. race, ethnicity and religion).
As a supporting partner organization to the Action Plan, IRCC will continue to integrate the principles of gender equality, diversity and inclusion into its ongoing and future policies and programming, and provide protection to women in vulnerable situations abroad. IRCC will also continue to consider its role and opportunities as an Action Plan supporting partner during the first year of the Action Plan’s life span, to ensure that the Department maximizes its potential in contributing to the implementation of the WPS agenda.
Forward-looking Approach: Priority Areas to Support Action Plan Implementation
The Department has set out three priority areas for integrating the Action Plan into its activities as a supporting partner in response to helping women and girls in conflict zones. These priorities consist of governance, accountability and training/education.
The Department’s first priority area for integrating the Action Plan into its activities is governance. Stemming from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, its regulations, and the operational guidance provided to staff, IRCC strives to ensure that gender and human rights factors are considered in the Department’s policies, programs and processes. In addition, IRCC uses GBA+ as an analytical tool to bring gender and identity perspectives into its work. This allows for a more integrated and comprehensive understanding of the impacts and implications of policies, programs and initiatives on women and girls, especially where the vulnerability of individuals is of particular concern. IRCC is looking to strengthen the use of GBA+ in the Department’s assessment of policies, programs and procedures, including existing policies or operational guidance, as part of IRCC’s support of the Action Plan.
The second objective is to ensure IRCC’s international engagement on the Action Plan. This objective will be met by encouraging the inclusion of gender perspectives in IRCC contributions to international fora, such as at Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees and UN committees and sub-committees, as well as senior immigration and refugee-related meetings. The objective will further be supported through the engagement and participation of senior IRCC champions and key staff in leading and promoting UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on WPS in international fora. The third objective is to support the implementation of the Action Plan through a variety of IRCC programs, by integrating a gender-based perspective along IRCC’s immigration continuum.
The Department’s second priority in integrating the Action Plan into its activities is accountability. The Department will continue to enhance the role and membership of IRCC at home and within international fora through participation at regular meetings with domestic and international partners (e.g. other governments and non-governmental organizations), and by providing input and feedback to international processes. In order to enhance the role of IRCC, the Department and its various branches will continue to meet regularly to discuss, solicit input, and make recommendations on WPS issues.
For the purposes of the Action Plan, IRCC aims to develop a central focus within the Department that would coordinate IRCC’s support of the Action Plan and gender considerations in the area of WPS.
Of note, IRCC is currently the only federal department with the legislative requirement to report on GBA+ in its Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. IRCC will continue to highlight key GBA+ work in the Annual Report, including the Department’s support to the Action Plan. IRCC also participates in annual GBA+ surveys by Status of Women Canada to report on the application of GBA+ within the Department.
To strengthen IRCC’s capacity in integrating gender perspectives in the Department’s work, IRCC looks to increase the robustness of the evidence-base that supports GBA+ assessments through gender-focused research, such as on issues of human trafficking and forced migration. Highlights of such research could be included in the upcoming annual progress reports.
3. Training and Education
The Department’s third priority in integrating the Action Plan into its activities is training and education of its staff, where IRCC currently promotes GBA+ awareness and training to all within the Department, including IRCC leaders and decision-makers. IRCC’s objectives under this priority area are for its staff and senior management to complete Status of Women Canada’s GBA+ online introduction course, which provides a foundational understanding of applying gender and identity considerations to policies and programs. Currently, IRCC provides a training session on “gender and decision-making” as part of staff training before they go overseas to missions abroad. To support the Action Plan, IRCC aims to enhance this training session and to expand it to include other IRCC staff operating in Canada.
IRCC is participating in the second generation of the Action Plan as a supporting partner. The Department will promote and support the Action Plan as the lead department on international migration issues and in supporting and protecting women and children through Canada’s immigration processing, programs, and services.
The Department will demonstrate its commitment to the full breadth of the Action Plan agenda through building capacity, accountability, raising awareness, and providing training.
IRCC’s complete list of commitments, with priorities, objectives, activities, and indicators to measure progress in their implementation, is provided in an addendum to this narrative.
Context: IRCC is committed to addressing the following broad Action Plan objectives/actions which are of relevance to its work:
As a supporting partner, IRCC is committed to supporting the federal government’s role in incorporating the full breadth of the WPS agenda. The bulk of IRCC’s work is mainly through domestic policy and programs. IRCC also works with likeminded countries at the multilateral level on issues of global importance—such as migration and the resettlement and integration of refugees from conflict-affected countries. In doing so, the Department contributes in important ways towards the empowerment, inclusion and protection of women and girls around the world – while taking into account gender and intersecting identity factors such as age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and ability.
IRCC has set out three priority areas for integrating the Action Plan into its activities as a supporting partner organization in response to helping women and girls in conflict zones. These priorities consist of governance, accountability and training/education and are described in greater detail below:
* Activities that are in Italics are new, with the remainder involving activities underway.** The indicators are primarily all new and will require developing methods for tracking in some cases.
1.1 Gender is integrated in relevant IRCC program and applications processes
1.1.1 Implement an integrated (holistic) approach to gender to include GBA+ while processing applications through the immigration continuum.
1.1.1. Creation and implementation of a policy framework for defining vulnerability.
1.2 IRCC programs (domestically and abroad) contribute to the Action Plan
Context: The Department’s second priority in integrating the Action Plan into its activities is accountability, where IRCC will continue to enhance the contribution of IRCC at home and within international fora through horizontal coordination, participation at regular meetings with domestic and international partners (e.g. other governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations), and by providing input and feedback to national and international processes.
2.1 An IRCC Action Plan focal point is established
2.2 IRCC domestic contribution on the Action Plan is enhanced
2.3 The Action Plan is promoted in international fora
|3 Training and Education|
Context: The Department’s third priority in integrating the Action Plan into its activities is training and education of its staff, where IRCC currently promotes GBA+ awareness and training to all within the Department, including IRCC leaders and decision-makers working home and abroad.
3.1 IRCC employees are aware of GBA+, gender-based and Action Plan considerations
Department of Justice
Department of Justice and Women, Peace and Security
The mission of the Department of Justice is to support the Minister of Justice in working to ensure that Canada is a just and law-abiding society with an accessible, efficient and fair system of justice; provide legal services to the government and to other federal departments and agencies; and promote respect for rights and freedoms, the law and the Constitution.
Through its International Legal Programs Section, the Department contributes to international development by providing, when so requested, strategic advice on law and development issues to Global Affairs Canada and other departments; and designing and implementing, when funded for that purpose by Global Affairs Canada, legal technical assistance projects.
Generally — and in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and related Women, Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions, as well as with its internal Policy on Gender-based Analysis Plus —, the Department is committed to integrating gender equality considerations in every aspect of its development related work.
The Department will, in the provision of strategic advice, make every effort to identify the potential impact of any contemplated initiative on the justice system as a whole and on vulnerable groups, including women and girls.
In project design, it will ensure that:
- gender considerations are taken into account in the assessment of the assistance needs;
- all genders are provided an opportunity to participate in the consultations;
- background information on the situation of women and girls in the target country is gathered;
- possible entry points to promote women's access to justice are identified.
In project implementation, it will ensure that:
- the potential differential impact of the reform options considered under the project is assessed;
- the information related to project activities is, whenever possible, disaggregated by sex;
- gender balance in training and other activities is taken into account;
- gender-related project achievements are reported on.
The exact subjects on which the Department will integrate gender equality considerations will depend largely on the nature and scope of the assistance requested by a partner country, since under the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness assisted countries must remain the master of their priorities.
That said, in both its advice and project work, the Department of Justice will always be mindful of the fact that the various justice matters of particular importance to women include the following:
Violence within the family is a significant issue in many countries. In the development of domestic violence policies, the Department is in a position not only to help address the strictly legal aspects of the subject, but also to encourage the development of a comprehensive approach reflecting the complexity of the phenomenon.
Imprisonment is not a gender-neutral measure in terms of impact. A large majority of women in jail are mothers, most of them single mothers and primary caregivers to their children. As a result, a mother's incarceration generally affects children in a way that a father's imprisonment does not.
The Department can, on policy development matters, bring extensive expertise and a gender perspective to any reform effort that involves looking at the use of imprisonment, non-custodial measures, and criminal law more generally. More specifically, and among other things, it can encourage compliance with the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders(Bangkok Rules).
Gender considerations are equally relevant in the field of juvenile justice. The treatment of female offenders under 18 years of age is a matter that generally receives even less attention than the treatment of adult women or juvenile male offenders.
With its in-depth knowledge of matters related to young offenders, the Department can help design a juvenile justice system that is gender-sensitive and complies with international requirements, including:
- the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- the Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules);
- the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules).
Access to justice
Both social and institutional barriers often inhibit women's access to justice.
The Department, through its expertise in areas such as legal aid systems, the treatment of witnesses, support to victims, and relations between the legal system and indigenous populations, can contribute to the design of reforms aimed at removing or reducing these barriers.
Law and poverty
Offences committed by women are often closely linked to poverty, and frequently a means of survival to support their family. Poverty compounds women's difficulty to access justice.
The Department can contribute usefully to any discussion pertaining to the intersection of law and poverty.
Sexual violence committed as an international crime
Through its Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Section, the Department supports the investigation and prosecution of acts of sexual violence that are committed as a tool of war or as an act of genocide against girls and women. One individual has been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment under Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, S.C. 2000, c. 24, for having committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including numerous acts of sexual violence against Tutsi women. [R. c. Munyaneza, 2009 QCCS 4865 - CanLII]
The department recognizes that girls and women are more vulnerable to war crimes: they are more likely to be victims of acts of sexual violence committed as a tool of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Moreover, acts of sexual violence have an enormous impact on women. They may be forcibly impregnated or be infected with different sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Further, some cultures shun women victims of sexual assault and others do not allow them to speak out about their victimization. The Department will continue its support of the investigation and prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity cases.
In light of the fact that the Department of Justice only provides technical assistance to foreign countries at the request and with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, the extent of its involvement in the implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security will be determined by the number and scope of the projects that Global Affairs Canada funds.
- Extent to which the potential impact of the contemplated measures on the whole justice system and on vulnerable groups has been taken into account.
- Number of criteria used to review gender considerations in the evaluation of assistance needs.
- Extent to which all genders have been provided an opportunity to take part in consultations.
- Number and relevance of sources of information consulted on the situation of women and girls in the target country.
- List of potential obstacles to women's access to justice developed.
- List of matters that may potentially have a differential impact developed.
- Information on project activities disaggregated by sex gathered.
- Gender-related project achievements are reported in the narrative reports submitted to Global Affairs Canada.
The Department of Justice will seek to identify various ways of contributing as fully as possible to the implementation of the WPS agenda. This could include, among other things, developing programs for women in fragile states.
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