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Welcome to the Department for Women and Gender Equality

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New Department for Women and Gender Equality

On December 13, through the enactment of Budget Implementation Act, No. 2, Status of Women Canada became the Department for Women and Gender Equality, and the Minister of Status of Women became the Minister for Women and Gender Equality.

Becoming a full Department means having the organization, staff, resources and platform to ensure that our mandate can be carried out more effectively. This move makes the organization more robust, causing it to be viewed on equal footing with other government departments. The change also protects and enhances the work it does, ensuring it has all the staff and resources that Departments have in order to deliver the best possible results. This change is designed to provide increased stability and prioritization for women’s issues and gender equality.

A New, Expanded Mandate

The Minister’s mandate will expand to formally include all matters pertaining to women and gender equality not currently being taken on by other departments, and will include equality issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. This formalization gives a proper legislative mandate for many of the activities that are already undertaken by Status of Women Canada, including the consideration of the full range of identity factors included in GBA+ in policymaking and an understanding of feminism from intersectional perspectives. With this new mandate, the new Department will also continue to collaborate with the LGBTQ2 Secretariat on important issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

The Minister is now also mandated to promote a greater understanding of the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors that include race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition, place of residence and disability.

Business as usual, but better!

All activities of Status of Women Canada are carried forward automatically so stakeholders with contribution agreements or contracts with the Agency will not have to do anything to continue their relationship with the new Department.

The Department of Women and Gender Equality will continue its current activities, and will explore how it can expand its capacity to undertake research and programs related to additional matters of equality. This will ensure the whole picture is captured when considering equality factors in policies and programs in order to deliver the best results for all Canadians. The new Department will spend its first few months determining what it needs to fulfil its new mandate most effectively.

This new Department will ensure that more thorough considerations of equality are woven into government policies and programs. Canadians will experience the benefits of a greater understanding from Government of the effect its policies and actions have on everyone, with better-designed initiatives being able to improve the outcomes of a greater number of Canadians more effectively, leading to a more inclusive, more prosperous Canada.

We look forward to continuing to work with our stakeholders on our common vision for gender equality and inclusion in Canada, making full use of the elevated platform we’ve been given as a full Department in order to achieve our shared goals. To ensure that we are responsive and effective going forward, we are committed to maintaining a robust, ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders, and will always value feedback through these relationships in advancing our important shared goals.

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