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How Canada Scored on Our Report Card

She Leads in Crisis Report Card

The following information was submitted by CARE offices in the countries reviewed in the report to provide additional context and detail.

How Canada Scored on Our Report Card

A report card for Canada's response to gender equality in humanitarian settings, showing that they scored 'Unsatisfactory' for indicators 1 and 2 and 'Satisfactory' for indicator 3.

What Canada Is Doing to Support Women and Girls in Crisis

Increased ODA is required to protect humanitarian principles to which Canada is committed through its national and international policies. Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) includes specific guidance for gender-responsive humanitarian action, which, coupled with the Grand Bargain commitments, offers strategic directions for more effective and transformative humanitarian action. Through FIAP, Canada has made important contributions to underfunded areas of humanitarian response, especially around unmet needs in sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. Global Affairs Canada is also increasingly disbursing multi-year and flexible funding, which allows for more cost-effective interventions informed by local contexts. These improvements are enabling multilateral and bilateral partners to undertake forward-looking and integrated programming that best meets the needs of affected populations.

Canada remains one of the normative leaders among humanitarian donors, helping lead the way toward more flexible and gender-responsive funding, outlined as objectives of the Grand Bargain and the Call to Action. Canada continues to build upon the predictability of its funding in order to ensure effective partnerships with local actors. As a Grand Bargain signatory, Canada has committed to allocating 25% of its humanitarian funding to local and national actors, which are at the forefront of emergency responses, often acting as first responders and reaching the most vulnerable. Women’s organizations, in particular, are proven effective in this area. Despite these lessons, globally less than 1% of humanitarian funding is channeled through these organizations. Given that the global humanitarian appeals remain severely underfunded, Canada should not attempt to achieve the objective of localization through a budgetary reallocation. Instead, the overall international assistance envelope should be scaled up, with additional funding directed at civil society organizations in a flexible and a predictable manner.

Canada’s feminist approach requires its international assistance be informed by a multidimensional analysis at the outset of all initiatives, by conducting a gender-based analysis (GBA+) and a human rights analysis. The GBA+ assesses how diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may experience policies, programs and initiatives, and the human rights analysis examines the human rights situations at the national, regional and sectoral level.

Canada has set out ambitious funding targets to ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are at the center of its international assistance, in which 95% of Canada’s bilateral international assistance will either integrate or target gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2021–2022. Canada is on track to meeting its targets, at 94% overall. In 2019–2020, over 96% of Canada’s humanitarian assistance projects integrated gender equality considerations.

Feminist International Assistance Policy

In 2019, Canada launched a dedicated sub-policy, A Feminist Approach: Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action, which recognizes women and girls as powerful agents of change and provides guidance for championing gender-responsive humanitarian action toward ensuring system-wide change. Aligned with this policy direction, Canada has made it a priority to support gender-responsive humanitarian action in all of its programming and policy efforts. Not only has Canada ensured that its programming integrates gender considerations, but it has also provided targeted support for programming that directly addresses program gaps, such as sexual reproductive health and rights and addressing GBV.

In 2019-2020, Canada provided $74 million in support of sexual and reproductive health services in its humanitarian programming, an increase of $24 million from 2018-2019. This support helps prevent death, disease and disability related to unwanted pregnancies and contributes to the prevention, mitigation and response to GBV.

In total over the last five years (2016–2021), Canada provided $141.3 million to support UNFPA’s lifesaving work in the Middle East. This includes support to UNFPA’s efforts to strengthen GBV response in the Middle East. This consistent, capacity-strengthening approach has many benefits such as creating space for innovation and improving the effectiveness in coordination and referral systems.

Global lead of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies (2019-2020)

During its tenure as lead, Canada helped shape the initiative to increase the engagement of, and funding for, local and women’s organizations in the humanitarian system through the update of the 2021-2025 Call to Action Road Map.

Pooled Funds

In line with Grand Bargain and Call to Action commitments, Canada supports the UN Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) due to their unique ability to provide funding directly to local humanitarian NGOs. Canada’s funding to the CBPFs has increased from $6.5 million in 2016 to a total of $50.15 million in 2020. As part of its humanitarian response to COVID-19, Canada allocated $13 million to existing CBPFs.

Canada is one of the top donors to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund. In 2020–2021, Canada provided an additional $3 million to support the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund through two windows of opportunity: 1) the Rapid Response Window which is supporting women to attend and participate in peace processes, and 2) the COVID-19 Emergency Response Window which supports local civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world, including women-led CSOs, who are playing key roles to respond to and stem the spread of COVID-19.

Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Program

Launched in 2017, this $150 million program currently provides funding to women’s rights organizations in fragile and conflict-affected states such as Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria and South Sudan. In the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 73% of WVL projects (including six of those listed above) harnessed fast, responsive funding to ensure that WROs were able to adjust their own operations and meet the increased needs of women and girls.

Equality Fund

Canada has also contributed $300 million to establish the Equality Fund, an innovative global platform that brings together philanthropic, private sector, civil society and government actors to provide a predictable and sustainable source of funding to women’s organizations and movements in developing countries. This support includes direct grants to women’s organizations, grants to women’s funds to provide direct grants to women’s organizations, grants to consortia and grants to women’s organizations working in crises, all accompanied by capacity building and technical support activities.

Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2017-2022)

The CNAP provides a whole-of-government framework to ensure that activities in fragile and conflict-affected states align with broader commitments on gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and respect for women’s and girls’ human rights. One of CNAP’s objectives is to promote and protect women’s and girls’ human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in fragile, conflict and post-conflict settings.