Victoria Foundation distributes $300K towards the advancement of gender equality

Victoria, B.C. – The Victoria Foundation is distributing $300,000 to 12 organizations to support ambitious local projects working towards the advancement of gender equality.

This funding supports organizations at the heart of the women’s movement, whose core activities, leadership, mission, and vision are committed to advancing gender equality. The challenges of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the inequalities still thriving in our society. The 2020 Victoria’s Vital Signs, for instance, revealed the disproportionate affect of the pandemic on women, who were more likely to suffer economic hardship, stress, and worsening mental health than men.

The Fund for Gender Equality shifts power into the hands of women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals by supporting their leadership and engagement in community-level initiatives. The Foundation is proud to be one of participating community foundations across Canada in the fund, which is a new collaboration between Community Foundations of Canada and the Equality Fund, supported by the Government of Canada.

“We need to advance gender equality to create communities of true belonging across the country,” said Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “By catalyzing the community foundation movement and the thousands of Canadians we connect with each day, we believe we can do more than just foster gender equality. We have an opportunity to begin removing the long-standing barriers to it.”

Bridges for Women Society, one of the grant recipients, will be using the funding to support its Indigenous Bridging Program. This healing program will be delivered to up to 15 Indigenous women living in the Songhees First Nation reserve to help overcome their histories of trauma.

“We are deeply grateful for the support of the Victoria Foundation through the Gender Equality Fund,” said Patricia Rawson, interim Executive Director. “Through a holistic approach, including group work, counselling and cultural practice, this initiative will help women heal from trauma, build networks of mutual support, and move towards their goals.”

Another grant is going to The Circle Salt Spring Society to support its Pass It On Girls program. This cross-peer mentorship program for school-age girls encourages self-awareness and skills for healthy relationships, engaging students in a safe and trusted space for sharing, learning, and practicing important skills.

“The Circle Salt Spring Society is ever grateful to the Victoria Foundation for its commitment to gender equality, as well as for their faith and confidence in the work that we do,” said Janine Fernandes-Hayden, Executive Director. “This investment in the Pass It On Girls program is so important in providing girls with the support/information required to thrive, in helping them to uncover their own internal capacities, and in highlighting for them strong role models to show the possibilities for achievement.”

Learn more here.

Find the full release here.

See the full list of 2020 recipients here.