ImpactAlpha, Jun. 4 – Roughly 2.8 billion women and girls live in countries that are outright failing or performing poorly on gender equality. That’s more than one third of the global population and more than 70% of women and girls.
Canada’s government has committed $300 million to fund women’s organizations and initiatives that promote gender equality abroad. The Equality Fund, a collaboration of 11 Canadian and international organizations, will back on-the-ground initiatives in developing countries countering violence against women and enhancing women’s economic security and leadership. Capital will be deployed through a mix of grants and investments, with the goal of unlocking new and sustainable funding streams.
The initiative is looking to secure and deploy $1 billion over the next 15 years. In addition to the Canadian government investment, it has secured an additional $100 million in commitments from outside funders.
“The whole point of the Equality Fund is to create a self-sustaining funding mechanism. These dollars are going to grow,” Maryan Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality, told The Global and Mail.
Partners for the Equality Fund include MATCH International Women’s Fund, Royal Bank of Canada, Oxfam Canada, and Calvert Impact Capital.
At home, Canada also pledged to match donations of up to $10 million to Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada.
Canada already ranks among the top 10 countries for women’s equality worldwide. (Denmark is number one; the U.S is 28th, earning a “fair” grade.) Justin Trudeau has made women’s equality a key theme for his government in Canada and globally, during the Canadian G7 Presidency last year.