Our approach

When you look at economic and social problems from a woman’s point of view, you see things differently.

You see how the issues are connected. You develop new priorities. You listen. You notice strength where others see only weakness. You think holistically. You share power. You build a community.

The Canadian Women`s Foundation is proudly unique. We are Canada’s only national foundation dedicated to giving women and girls in Canada a chance for a better life.

Our approach is unique too. For the last twenty years, we’ve been building a community of women and men who are working together to stop the violence, end poverty, and empower girls.

Here are the key ideas that drive our work.

Focus on Women and Girls

We focus on women and girls because of the “ripple effect.” Research shows when you improve women’s equality, it improves economic and social conditions for everyone. (MORE>>>)

Address the Greatest Needs

We target our support to women and girls who need it most. Our priority is to help women and girls who face the highest risks, such as those with a disability and those who live in urban and rural communities with the fewest services, such as remote northern communities. (MORE>>>)


We believe the best solutions are designed by the people who are closest to the problems. That’s why we consult with the organizations we fund before we shape our strategies. It’s also why we invest in programs that ask women and girls what kind of solutions they need, then listen closely to their answers. (MORE>>>)

Take a Positive Approach

We focus on strengths, not weaknesses. For example, in our work to end poverty, women are encouraged to recognize their existing skills and supports—even if at first they seem unimportant—and build from there. (MORE>>>)

Work Holistically

We believe the best way to solve complex economic and social problems is to look at them from multiple angles. That’s why we do much more than fund programs—we take a holistic approach to all our work. (MORE>>>)

Share Power

Women share many commonalities, but we also differ in many ways. Our lived experiences are shaped by income, race, religion, culture, physical ability, level of education, sexual orientation, age, and many other factors. Some of us have much more opportunity and privilege than others. But if we work together, we can learn from one another and find strength in our differences. (MORE>>>)

Build a Community

Women and girls in Canada have come a long way, thanks to the hard work of previous generations. But far too many women and girls are still trapped by violence, poverty, and rigid stereotypes that limit their potential. That’s why we continue to bring together women and men who believe in gender equality. The community we’ve built is big and diverse and creative—and ever growing. (MORE>>>)