The Canadian Women’s Foundation is Canada’s public foundation for women and girls. They empower women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty and into confidence and leadership.
In 1986, there was no umbrella organization in Canada designed for people who were interested in advancing women’s equality.
But in March of that year, two grade school chums – Nancy Ruth Jackman and Susan Woods – would have a conversation that not only changed that fact, but also start a chain of events that, decades later, has improved the lives of thousands of women and girls across Canada.
In 1991, the Canadian Women’s Foundation was officially launched. The NaRuth Foundation donated $50,000 to help get the fledgling organization off the ground and conduct fundraising. That first year, the Foundation awarded $40,000 in grants to women’s organizations. Julie White, who had participated in that first meeting and who was in charge of Levi Strauss’ corporate giving in Canada, became the Foundation’s first Board president and was instrumental in advancing its agenda.
A few years later, the Foundation received an additional $500,000 from Nancy Ruth. This generous gift was designed to match all donations made during the first five years of operation. Nancy’s mother, Mary, also gave $500,000.
Since 1991, the Canadian Women’s Foundation has invested over $40 million in charitable support to over 1,200 community programs and to every woman’s shelter across Canada.
They invest in the strength of women and the dreams of girls. The Canadian Women’s Foundation raises money to end violence against women, move women out of poverty and build strong resilient girls through funding, researching and promoting best practices. They are a leading voice for women in Canada.
Invest in women and girls. Change everything.
Their DREAM of GEN1
The Canadian Women’s Foundation has a dream: That Canada will lead the world by creating the first generation to experience real gender equality.
They call this dream GEN1.
Think about that for a moment - the first generation in Canada to experience real gender equality. Because all of the issues affecting women and girls today—violence, poverty, girls’ lack of confidence—are rooted in inequality.
The first generation free of violence. No sexual harassment or assault, no domestic abuse, no sex trafficking.
The first generation of economic equality. No gender wage gap, no glass ceiling, no girls afraid to show their brilliance.
The first generation of inclusive leadership. Leadership that collaborates and includes marginalized voices.
How will they do it? By building on the work they’ve already done. By continuing to honour those who have gone before them on this journey. By continuing to work closely with grassroots organizations and diverse communities. By continuing to be guided by research. By continuing to listen to the voices if those who are impacted by this issues. Because they believe the best solutions are designed by the people closest to the problem.