woman sitting by the ocean

Special Projects

Over more than 25 years, the Foundation has become a national leader in its work toward gender equality. We raise public awareness by speaking out about the barriers women and girls face. We also connect what we learn from our funded programs to the development of provincial and national projects and strategies.

Some of our regional and national projects include:

  • Gender Equality Network Canada

    In 2017, Status of Women Canada selected the Canadian Women’s Foundation to convene, facilitate and oversee the Gender Equality Network Canada. Over three years, this Network of about 150 women leaders from across the country will create an action plan to advance gender equality in Canada.

    Learn more about the Network’s leaders, recent news and updates.

  • Black Innovation Fellowship

    Launched in 2019, the Black Innovation Fellowship aims to address key barriers Black entrepreneurs face while getting new businesses off the ground. The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a founding partner of the Fellowship, which is run by Ryerson University’s DMZ startup accelerator.

    This is a first-in-Canada program that provides startups led by Black entrepreneurs with:
    • Startup network support and additional programming
    • Access to Black mentors and experts
    • Access to events, industry, capital and alumni networks
    • Access to affordable housing and meeting spaces

    The Foundation is proud to be supporting women entrepreneurs through the Fellowship, and providing leadership and personal development training. More information and how to apply to the Black Innovation Fellowship.

  • Building the Field of Teen Healthy Relationships

    Although teen healthy relationship programs are offered across Canada, there is a need for more coordinated efforts to link and support these programs. That’s why the Foundation is working toward change at a national level through Building the Field of Teen Healthy Relationships, a three-year program that began in 2015.

    Supported by Status of Women Canada, the initiative is bringing together community programs, academics, policy-makers, funders, and youth to share successes and challenges, as well as to discuss the future of teen healthy relationship programming. Learn more about Building the Field of Teen Healthy Relationships.

  • Girls’ Group Mentoring Toolkit

    The Foundation’s Girls’ Fund supports many programs that involve group mentoring, and our evaluations have shown incredible results. Group mentoring not only connects girls with an older role model but also with three or four peers.

    Girls say mentoring helps them celebrate their strengths, become more outgoing, gain confidence, and feel like they can achieve their dreams. Given the power of mentoring, the Foundation wanted to empower more community organizations to offer it.

    With the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, we developed an online girls group mentoring toolkit. Any organization can access this resource online and have the steps, tools, instruction and from-the-field-advice to develop a program in their communities.

    When we first created the toolkit, we asked five organizations to pilot it. We invited them to use the toolkit to create a program from scratch and to track their learnings. We checked in with these groups, analyzed their feedback, pulled out the trends and gaps, and then returned to the drawing board to create new or adapted content.

    Just to be sure the content was on track, we also consulted with an advisory group of international researchers, practitioners, grantees, evaluation experts, and our partner on the project, the Alberta Mentoring Partnership.

    Now that the toolkit has launched, we look forward to seeing the magic of mentoring spread to more girls in communities across Canada.

  • 5-Year Anti-Trafficking Strategy

    Trafficking occurs when someone is coerced into sexual or labour exploitation. It is a serious and underreported form of gender-based violence that has emerged across Canada.

    In 2014, the Foundation launched a five-year strategy focused on ending sex trafficking in Canada. This strategy is based on the work of our National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada.

    Since then, the Foundation’s learning has evolved. We are taking action to deepen our understanding of trafficking in partnership with the organizations we fund, through research and evaluation, and with the support of leaders in the sector. Given that this is an emerging area of work, the Foundation is committed to sharing our learning on empowering, women-centred responses that support survivors of trafficking.

    The Foundation’s strategy includes five-year grants to eight community programs across Canada that provide services to women and girls who have experienced coercion. These programs are working on community response models to better address trafficking.
    The Foundation’s trafficking reports are included with our sector reports and resources.