Changemaker April 2022

Dear friends and supporters,

Anuradha Dugal, VP Community Initiatives, Canadian Women's Foundation

What would make the biggest positive difference in your life today?

When we surveyed mothers and caregivers on this question last year, they put affordable childcare at the top of the list. And it makes sense. So many have struggled to manage increased caregiving burdens and their paid work during the pandemic. And so many have reached their breaking points in the process.

A year later, as we’re getting close to Mother’s Day 2022, it’s encouraging to see historic announcements toward a national childcare strategy. While this progress is something to celebrate, it’s long overdue. And it’s one of many systemic changes that women need now.

Commitment to childcare should be a given – a bedrock of a more equitable Canadian society and economy.

The same goes for support for other kinds of unpaid care, fair and liveable wages, family-friendly workplace policies, and more opportunities for diverse mothers and caregivers to thrive.

So much of the progress on these issues is the result of decades of tireless advocacy by women’s and equity-seeking groups. We must ensure the momentum and collective action continues. We need to keep pushing and holding decision-makers to the promise of change that works for everyone.

As Mother’s Day approaches, we thank you for your action to help mothers and caregivers rise. You enable critical programs and policies that make things better for mothers and caregivers in Canada.

Thank you for your continued generosity and commitment,

Anuradha Dugal
Vice President, Community Initiatives
Canadian Women’s Foundation

You’re Part of The Mother Rising

Tribute E-card design shows flowers and Mother's Day message
Honour the mother or caregiver in your life:

Visit The Mother Rising to honour your mother or caregiver by giving an impactful donation in tribute. An e-card like the one above will be sent directly to the recipient.

Share your own experience:

If you’re a mother/caregiver, take the survey on how you’re impacted in 2022. You can also tell us your thoughts and hear from others at one of the following Foundation Insight Forums:
April 26, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. ET. Register
May 4, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. ET. Register
May 5, 1 – 2 p.m. ET. Register

Shop for gifts:

Go to our Shop With Purpose page and support the work of the Foundation by purchasing a gift from our giving partners.

And please share The Mother Rising with your networks to ensure we can rally support across the country for the services and supports diverse mothers need to thrive.

You made moves on International Women’s Day

In celebration of March 8, you made moves for gender justice and we’re so grateful to you for taking action!

  • More than 600 people attended or watched our virtual International Women’s Day event about Corporate Citizenship for Gender Equality.

  • Launched! The Rosemary Brown Giving Collective is bringing together hundreds of like-minded monthly donors, who share the late Honourable Rosemary Brown’s tireless commitment to gender justice.

  • Generous donors contributed more than $200,000 to support systems change work and Grantee Partners who are focused on gender justice issues.

  • 20,000 people joined our Signal for Help Responder community to help end gender-based violence.

You are part of an incredible, engaged, and hardworking community acting to dismantle barriers to a better future. Thank you!

Grantee Partner spotlight: Roxana Fazli at Women’s Economic Council

Roxana FazliWhen Roxana Fazli moved from Iran to Newfoundland in 2019, she encountered challenges that many newcomers face. Simply trying to get basic tasks done in a new country, with a young child and no relatives or support system, was eye-opening.

“Sometimes I would think ‘I’m so alone, I don’t have anyone here,’ but my experiences help me understand what other immigrant women are facing.” As a project manager at the Women’s Economic Council, she’s now working to reduce those barriers.

Newcomer women often struggle to access key services for finding work or starting a business – like getting advice on legal issues, insurance, and marketing. Fazli said obstacles including language, digital literacy, lack of access to childcare, as well as past experiences of trauma, can block newcomer women’s paths forward. The pandemic only increased burdens related to childcare and health; she says one program participant was told she had to pick her child up from school because of mild cold symptoms on the same day she had a job interview.

Your donations have made it possible for the Council to bridge the gaps between immigrant women and the services available to support them. The Council will also offer training to community service providers so that they can better support newcomers.

Immigrant women are contributing through co-designing the project activities and volunteering in the communication team. The Council is also partnering with co-operative business organizations to explore the viability of this business model for newcomer women and mothers.

“I hope that this project will make more organizations really open to helping immigrant women and mothers,” Fazli says.

Supporter spotlight: Katherine Blake of the Rosemary Brown Giving Collective

Katherine Blake, monthly donorKatherine is a member of the Rosemary Brown Giving Collective, the community of generous monthly donors at the Canadian Women’s Foundation who share a tireless commitment to gender equality.

“It’s not a big amount,” she says, “it’s like the cost of a coffee a day. It was a no brainer to give to the Foundation, to go towards something meaningful.”

Katherine has been a monthly donor since 2016. “I know I have had a privileged life and that so many others have not had the type of support I have had. I support because I know the Foundation helps level the playing field.”

She’s also mindful of the impact her giving can have for the next generation. “The Foundation moves things positively forward … that’s the world I want to live in. It’s also about supporting the future my granddaughter will live in.”

Thank you, Katherine, for being a part of this special community of changemakers!

The Slaight Family Foundation responds to higher risks of gender-based violence

Slaight Family Foundation LogoAmid rising rates of gender-based violence and femicide, the Slaight Family Foundation donated $1.5 million to launch the new “Slaight Family Foundation Ending Gender-Based Violence in Critical Communities Grant” at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

This incredibly generous gift responds to the reality that, in the pandemic context, risk of abuse such as intimate partner violence has spiked everywhere, including urban centres throughout Canada. Ramping up granting in urban settings to meet this elevated risk and address barriers to safety like lack of affordable housing and high costs of living is essential. The Slaight Family Foundation will enable us to fund 12 new urban-oriented projects in August 2022, prioritizing those that are run by for and by marginalized communities.

Corporate partner: TD

TD Ready Commitment LogoSo many barriers block women’s journeys out of poverty: sexism, racism, ableism, and homophobia to name a few. But entrepreneurship opportunities can help them chart their own ways forward.

That’s why the Foundation is so thankful to our longtime corporate donor TD Bank Group for their recent commitment of $500,000 to support programs that help women living on low incomes to start their own businesses.

“It was my dream to have my own business and with this program I have been able to figure out my way,” said a participant at Employment My Way program, delivered by the YWCA Moncton in New Brunswick. “The facilitator provided us with all the necessary information and guidance to help build up not only our businesses, but also our confidence, and belief in ourselves, our power, and ability to go forward.”

By supporting such programs, TD is committed to helping build women’s financial confidence.

Thank you, TD, for empowering women to move forward!

Volunteer spotlight: Signal for Help Responder, Ruby Bahugun

Ruby Bahugun, Signal for Help Responder Ruby Bahugun wants to help end gender-based violence. Motivated by her own experience of leaving an abusive marriage and becoming a single parent, she signed up to be a Signal for Help Responder. She wants to be ready to proactively address any signal of abuse and support people in her life who might be at risk of violence, especially within her own South Asian community.

“As I continue my journey to rebuilding myself, I have noticed the uphill battle with culture and the stigma associated with abuse, which is why I decided to become a Signal for Help Responder,” she says. “I hope to raise awareness and help anyone that may feel that their situation can’t get better. I want to provide them that hope because no one deserves abuse in any form.”

And in February 2022, Ruby took it to the next level when she did a live media interview with OMNI News Punjabi Edition to build awareness about gender-based violence and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Thank you, Ruby!

Get Inspired at the Women + Wealth Gala on May 14

Women and Wealth Gala 2022 promo imageThis year’s Women + Wealth Gala, which raises funds to benefit the Foundation, has been re-scheduled to Saturday, May 14. The event, happening at the Edmonton Convention Centre, features an exciting lineup of speakers including Schitt’s Creek star Catherine O’Hara, who will join remotely from her home in California. In-person speakers include entrepreneur Kristina Botelho, Indigenous wellness advocate Shayla Stonechild, and emcee Carrie Doll. They’ll share their journeys to success, aiming to inspire those on their way to becoming passionate leaders in businesses, organizations, governments, schools and communities. Guests will enjoy a three-course meal, gift bag, and access to the event reception. Even if you can’t attend the event in Edmonton, you can buy tickets to access the livestream. The first 100 virtual ticket purchasers receive a 20% discount.

Buy Tickets

A brilliant vision for gender justice

Inspiring Canadians Book Cover “I see a country where everyone matters,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, in the new book Inspiring Canadians: Forty Brilliant Canadians and their Visions for the Nation, by Mark Bulgutch with Peter Mansbridge (Douglas & McIntyre). “And when something gets in your way, whether it’s violence or racism or homophobia or sexism, I want the kind of Canada that steps up and says that’s not okay.” In her feature section of the book, Paulette describes how the barriers she faced growing up ignited her interest in advocating for a more just and equal Canada – and where we are in that journey today.

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Tune into Alright, Now What?, where we focus on current events and recently addressed the gender pay gap and refugee experiences for women and gender-diverse people. Coming episodes will speak to the federal budget and the issue of sexual assault evidence kits in hospitals.

At the global table: United Nations Representation

The Foundation is proud to be an Economic & Social Council accredited organization. This designation enables us to participate in United Nations events on gender matters that impact Canada and the global effort toward gender justice.

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