The Canadian Government announced more than $1 million dollars to help empower women in northern government. This funding is being provided to two of the three northern territories: the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The Northwest Territories will be receiving $525,000 from the federal government, which will bolster the $121,500 that the territorial government has invested in supporting women in political leadership roles. This money will be spent on a public information campaign and new school curriculum. Currently only 2 of the 19 seats in the Territorial Legislative Assembly are held by women.
Efforts to get more women in politics
When it comes to federal politics, the current Member of Parliament from the NWT is a man, and in the upcoming federal election, none of the candidates announced will be women. Although, one of the main political parties, the NDP, has not yet declared its candidate.
The Honourable Caroline Cochrane Minister responsible for Education, Culture, Employment and Status of Women at the Government of the Northwest Territories said, “this funding will greatly enhance the GNWT’s efforts to get more women involved in politics.”
“This funding will greatly enhance the GNWT’s efforts to get more women involved in politics.”
Nunavut will receive $600,000 for their project Nunavut Women and Girls Leadership and Governance Initiative. This will go to the Department of Family Services and will create a Women and Girls Leadership Forum, as well as a number of workshops in communities across the territory. In the Nunavut Legislative Assembly only 5 of the 21 seats are held by women.
In the upcoming federal election, two parties will be running women candidates: Leona Aglukkaq (Conservative) and Megan Pizzo-Lyall (Liberal). The NDP and Green parties have not yet declared their candidates.
The Honourable Elisapee Sheutiapik, Minister Responsible for Family Services, Status of Women, Homelessness, Immigration, and Poverty Reduction at the Government of Nunavut commented, “there is no doubt that the outcome of these projects will benefit gender equality and grow leadership capacity within all Nunavut communities.”
Where does this funding come from?
The federal Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Maryam Monsef, holds annual meetings for all Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. In 2017, the Minister committed to working closer with territorial and provincial governments to help advance gender equality. The Honourable Maryam Monsef commented, “The Government of Canada is firmly committed to working in partnership to advance the key priorities affecting women and girls to help build a better Canada, and I look forward to continued progress on many important issues.”
“The Government of Canada is firmly committed to working in partnership to advance the key priorities affecting women and girls to help build a better Canada.”
The funding comes from the 2018 Budget which provided $100 million dollars over five years for the women’s movement and the 2019 Budget which committed an additional $160 million over 5 years for Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Women’s Programs.
What about the Yukon?
In October 2018, the federal government provided an additional $867,500 over three years to support three Indigenous women’s organizations: the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, and the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council. This funding was specifically focused, not on women in government, but on the wider goal of advancing gender equality in Canada.
When the funding was announced, Minister Maryam Monsef said, “”When we advance gender equality, we grow Canada’s economy and create safer communities, but no order of government can do this work alone.”