Government statistics suggest that one in 10 women in Canada were very or extremely concerned about domestic violence at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government says Black women and girls are at greater risk. The minister responsible has announced that up to $2.5 million will be allocated to advance gender equity and to prevent gender-based violence against Black women and girls.
The project will undertake community-based research “to address gaps related to gender-based violence in the lives of Black women and girls.” It promises to engage with Black women’s community organization and experts by convening a National Steering Committee and to develop a comprehensive national gender equity strategy.
Project implemented by community groups
The project is called Advancing Gender Equity for Black Women and Girls in Canada to Respond to COVID-19, and will be implemented by the Women’s Centre for Justice in conjunction with the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Battered Women’s Support Services.
It will seek to create awareness about the human rights of all Black females to live free of violence and to increase capacity and skills-building resources and partnerships to work on the issue.
“As Canadians across the country mark the start of Black History Month and honour Black Canadians’ contributions, we must also re-commit to addressing discrimination and anti-Black racism, and to ensuring that everyone has access to equal opportunities,” reads a statement from the Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development . “Projects like this one, developed by and for Black Canadian women, are critical to addressing the unacceptable inequalities that remain prevalent in our society.”
Paulette Senior, president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation said she was thrilled with the announcement: “This initiative is going to have such a profound impact on the lives of Black women, Black girls and Black gender-diverse peoples in Canada. It’s the start of a movement focused on truth and transformation, developed and delivered by us, for us. It will allow for the creation of opportunities for us to speak our truths, about the myriad ways that anti-Black racism subverts and undermines our lives. At the same time, we will create a framework that will be used by all stakeholders, especially governments, to advance gender equity for Black women, Black girls and Black gender-diverse peoples in Canada”