Ontario Investing in Women's Futures
Expanded Program a Key Component of Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy
Ontario is supporting women's centres to deliver programs that provide a safe and welcoming environment for women across the province.
As part of Then Now Next: Ontario's Strategy for Women's Economic Empowerment, the province is expanding the Investing in Women's Futures program to support women's centres that help women who face issues such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, domestic violence, immigration and settlement, isolation, life transitions and discrimination. Women's centres currently funded under the program are community-based agencies run by and for women.
The program helps women's centres deliver services such as:
- Pre-employment supports, including employment counseling, computer training and life skills workshops
- Violence against women care and prevention, including counselling, peer support and developing safety plans
- Systems navigation supports, including resources and referral to housing, social assistance, health care and legal services
- Advocacy services to help provide support through complex challenges
The province will invite women's centres to submit proposals for the expanded program this fall.
Ontario is also supporting economic security for women by providing low-income women with skills and employment training through the Women's Economic Security Program. This year, the province is investing in 17 projects that will provide women with the training they need to progress their careers in sectors where they have been historically underrepresented, such as skilled trades and information technology.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- As part of the recently released Then Now Next: Women’s Economic Empowerment Strategy, Ontario is planning to increase funding to up to $250,000 per year to successful recipients of the Investing in Women’s Futures program. The expanded call for proposals will be announced in Fall 2018.
- More than 5,000 women benefit each year from services provided by Women’s Centres.
- Ontario is investing $13.6 million over three years in 17 projects through the Women’s Economic Security Program.
“Our government is committed to ending gender-based violence and to achieving gender equality. Women’s Centres provide vital services, a safe space, and skills training to marginalized women in Ontario. For many women, these centres are life-changing. I look forward to strengthening our partnership by expanding the Investing in Women’s Futures program.”