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Women’s Voice and Leadership Program

We created this program to meet the needs of local women's organizations in developing countries. Our support helps them advance gender equality and empower women in developing countries. It promotes and protects their human rights.

We announced the program in June 2017. It is part of our Feminist International Assistance Policy.

As part of the program, Canada will work with partners to:

A Message on the Renewal and Expansion of Canada’s Women’s Voice and Leadership Program

On April 27, 2023, Canada announced $195 million over five years and $43.3M annually thereafter for the renewal and expansion of the Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Program.

Between April and November 2023, Global Affairs Canada undertook a series of targeted consultations with the WVL community and feminist funding ecosystem more broadly. These consultations, together with the WVL Formative Evaluation, are key to informing the renewed WVL program. A report on what we heard through these consultations will be available on this webpage in early 2024.

Canada’s Renewed WVL Program will maintain its existing framework, while expanding support in conflict- and crisis-affected contexts and being more intentional in reaching structurally excluded groups such as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LBTQI+) women and women with disabilities. In line with the WVL program’s goal of flowing the maximum amount of funds directly to women’s right organizations (WROs), projects implemented by—or in direct partnership with—WROs from the Global South are highly encouraged.

The process to select the renewed WVL program’s implementing partners will be inclusive, fair and transparent. Additionally, civil society organizations guided by feminist principles will be prioritized, and a mix of selection mechanisms will be used. However, please note that there will not be an open call for proposals at this time. Global Affairs Canada will directly invite organizations to submit proposals. A new selection process is required for all renewed WVL projects.

Renewed WVL projects will be identified, funded and managed by geographic branches.

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