The Equality Fund is thrilled to see the recent announcement of the first grant results from the Fund for Gender Equality, led by Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and delivered by community foundations across the country. Deep collaboration with values-aligned funders across Canada is part of how the Equality Fund is helping to build a feminist field of practice, shifting resources and power to women and girls locally and around the world.
It’s been a year and a half since the Government of Canada announced an historic investment of $300 million in the Equality Fund, and we stood together with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and other partners to start forging a new model for global feminist funding. A model that meets the moment we are in—putting funds in the hands of women leaders pushing for equality, justice, and transformation rather than short-term responses. Simultaneously, and in a similar vein, the Government of Canada also stepped forward with an additional funding announcement to support women’s organizations in Canada through CFC and the community foundation network, the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) and others.Since then, the Equality Fund has been proud to work with CFC and CWF to publish a shared set of Principles for Feminist Funding and collaborate on three Vital Signs publications diving deep into gender inequality in Canada. Looking ahead to 2021, the Equality Fund is excited to partner with CFC and local community foundations on aspects of their organizational-change agenda—touching on investment strategy, governance, and more.Selected by community foundations, these crucial new grants across Canada echo the ambition of the Equality Fund’s grantmaking worldwide, focused on funding that is core, flexible, predictable, and community informed. Funding that aims to undo patriarchal and colonial structures and build new relationships and movements.COVID-19 continues to undermine women’s economic participation, increase the threat of violence in the home, and endanger racialized and Indigenous women’s health in particular. As an emergent field of feminist funders in Canada, we must support women here and around the world, making the connection between local feminists organizations and movements and the global fight for women’s rights and futures. As Canada and other countries look to rebuild and re-imagine post-pandemic, fueling a visionary feminist recovery in Canada—with an interconnected local and global perspective—is crucial.