The Governments of Canada and Ontario sign bilateral agreement to end gender-based violence

News release

Women and Gender Equality Canada

Living a life free from violence is a fundamental human right, unfortunately, gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a significant barrier to achieving gender equality in Canada. It is one of the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violations of our time that affects people of all walks of life.

Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth and Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South were joined by the Honourable Michael Parsa, Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, and the Honourable Charmaine Williams, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, to announce a historic bilateral agreement. The federal government will be investing $162 million over four years to support the implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence in Ontario.

This comprehensive plan contains targeted, coordinating strategies designed to prevent gender-based violence, while supporting community-led solutions. The Plan is focused on three priority areas: increasing prevention efforts; reaching underserved and at-risk populations; and stabilizing the GBV sector.

Launched in November 2022 by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for the Status of Women, the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence is a 10-year plan that sets a framework to have a Canada free of gender-based violence – a Canada that supports victims, survivors and their families from coast to coast. The National Action Plan is informed by over 1,000 recommendations from frontline organizations, survivors, experts and Indigenous partners.

This agreement will help the Government of Ontario strengthen the sector supporting survivors and people at risk of gender-based violence through enhancements to existing programs and services. The Government of Ontario, working alongside partners throughout the province, will build upon the extensive work already underway to increase awareness and prevention efforts, as well as enhance the services and supports for victims, survivors, underserved populations, and populations most at risk of experiencing GBV. This includes expanding Indigenous-led approaches that address GBV through healing, health, and wellness programming, expanding programs that foster women’s economic security, and investing in prevention initiatives. Prevention initiatives will focus on addressing the underlying attitudes, behaviours, and unique community needs.

This announcement is among a series of bilateral agreements that are being signed between the federal government and provinces and territories. It is in addition to the funding provided to Ontario earlier this year to support provincial GBV crisis hotlines. These investments will support the Government of Ontario to create and enhance critical programs and resources for victims and survivors of gender-based violence and their families.

Coordinated and collaborative actions from federal, provincial, and territorial governments are key in effectively preventing and addressing GBV. Provincial and territorial governments will continue working in partnership with survivors, Indigenous partners, civil society, front-line service providers, municipalities, the private sector and researchers to implement the National Action Plan within their jurisdictions in a way that responds to the evolving needs and emerging issues for survivors and victims of gender-based violence.

Quotes

“Gender-based violence is unacceptable and has no place in our country. This why we launched the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence alongside provinces and territories to combine our efforts to address this deeply rooted issue. This historic agreement is about taking action against violence together, calling men and boys into the movement, and supporting frontline organizations to build a safer Canada for everyone.”

The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“Our government is taking action to prevent and address gender-based violence in Ontario. This agreement with the federal government will help more survivors access the supports they need as well as increase prevention and recovery efforts. It is a welcome addition to Ontario’s investment of over $1.4 billion in gender-based violence services and prevention over the duration of the agreement. We are building an Ontario that is free of violence and full of opportunities for girls and women.”

The Honourable Michael Parsa, Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services

“Ontario is continuing to invest in supports and programs that help survivors and their families heal and gain economic stability and security. Through the Investing in Women’s Futures and Women’s Economic Security Programs, women facing socio-economic barriers are developing the in-demand skills they need to enter or re-enter the workforce and change their lives. The signing of the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence will help to build a province where every woman and girl is empowered to succeed.”

The Honourable Charmaine Williams, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity

“Gender-based violence is unacceptable and has no place in our country. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to a future where everyone can live free from violence. I would like to thank everyone on the frontlines that work hard to keep women and children safe here in Ontario and across the country.”

Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South

Quick facts

  • Since 2021, the Government of Canada has committed $1.14 billion to advance the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence, including $539.3 million over five years to support provinces and territories in their efforts to implement the National Action Plan.
  • More than 11 million people in Canada have experienced intimate partner violence, a type of gender-based violence, at least once since the age of 15.
  • ·In 2009, it was estimated that intimate partner violence has an economic cost of $7.4 billion annually, and sexual violence, a cost of $4.8 billion annually. It is further estimated that Canadian businesses lose millions due to decreased productivity and individuals being unable to work as a result of GBV.
  • In 2018, 44% of women in Canada—or about 6.2 million women—reported experiencing some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
  • Women are also more likely than men to experience sexual harassment in public spaces. In a 2018 survey, 32% of women—or about 4.9 million women 15 years of age or older in Canada—experienced some form of unwanted sexual behaviour while they were in a public place.
  • Despite comprising only 5% of the female population in Canada, 21% of all gender-related homicide victims between 2011 and 2021 were Indigenous women and girls.

Resources:

The Article originally Appeared at: https://www.canada.ca/en/women-gender-equality/news/2023/11/backgrounder–the-governments-of-canada-and-ontario-sign-bilateral-agreement-to-end-gender-based-violence.html

UN Women 16 days: https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/unite/16-days-of-activism

Women’s social and economic opportunity: https://www.ontario.ca/page/womens-social-and-economic-opportunity

16 Days of activism against GBV: https://women-gender-equality.canada.ca/en/commemorations-celebrations/16-days/16-days-2023.html

Upcoming Conference: Gender Based Violence : Inclusive Voices, Collective Power (Nov. 29)

EAPO Quiz: What do you know about Gender-Based Violence Quiz.

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