LEAF urges feds to advance gender equality through 'adequate and sustained' funding

Women's Legal Education and Action asked for funding through 2022 federal budget submission

LEAF urges feds to advance gender equality through 'adequate and sustained' funding

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) has urged the federal government to provide “adequate and sustained” funding to organizations fighting for gender equality across Canada.

In its 2022 federal budget submission, LEAF said that COVID-19 had given rise to a “shadow pandemic” of domestic violence, forced a disproportionate number of women out of the labour force, and set back efforts to advance the equality of women and gender-diverse people.

“Adequate and sustained funding is required to meet this moment and strengthen the movement for women’s and gender equality to counter this growing threat as we emerge from the pandemic,” LEAF wrote.

With this, LEAF called on the government to commit $25 million per year over the next 10 years to women’s and gender equality organizations, including those working at a national level on advocacy, research, education, policy analysis, and legal reform, to advance women and gender-diverse people’s rights.

LEAF also asked the government to award capacity-building grants of up to $25 million per year over the next five years to these organizations to better achieve their missions by promoting continuous improvement and increasing organizational effectiveness.

If the second funding is not feasible, LEAF noted that the government should allot $25 million for a one-year funding extension for organizations that received capacity-building grants through the Women’s Program in 2019.

“Women’s and gender equality organizations need core funding to take timely, responsive, and nimble action to address emerging issues impacting women, girls, and gender-diverse people,” said Pam Hrick, LEAF’s executive director and general counsel. “The federal government has the opportunity now to cement a legacy as one truly dedicated to meaningfully enhancing the equality of women and gender-diverse people.”

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