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Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada


Women and Gender Equality Canada mandate

The mandate of Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) is to advance equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders, including women, in Canada’s economic, social, and political life. This application of a gender and diversity lens will help us to understand better the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors. These factors include but are not limited to race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition, place of residence and disability.

WAGE works within the context of a number of federal and international instruments that support the principle of gender equality such as: the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

WAGE’s responsibilities include the following:

Our Vision

A Canada where people of all genders, including women, are equal in every way and can achieve their full potential.

Raison d’être

WAGE works to advance gender equality through an intersectional gendered lens. Working in partnership with key stakeholders, including civil society organizations, labour groups, the private sector, other orders of government, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, we actively promote the inclusion of all people in Canada’s economic, social, and political life. WAGE works to uphold its mandate to advance gender equality by performing a central coordination function within the Government of Canada by developing and implementing policies, providing grants and contributions, delivering programs, investing in research, and providing advice to achieve equality for people of all genders, including women.

Our History

Since 1971, there has been a Minister responsible for the Status of Women. The Office of the Coordinator, Status of Women, was initially established in the Privy Council Office in response to a recommendation contained in the report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in 1970.

The Office of the Coordinator, Status of Women, became a departmental agency of the federal government on April 1, 1976.

In December 2018, new legislation created Women and Gender Equality Canada, transforming the former Status of Women Canada into an official department of the Government of Canada. This change modernizes and formalizes, in law, the roles of the Minister and the Department.

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