Minister Monsef advances gender-based violence strategy

gender-based violence strategy

The strategy will address violence and continue work on gender equality.

Today, Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, laid the framework that will define the Government of Canada’s strategy to address gender-based violence. Minister Monsef is taking the opportunity to share this progress while human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai is in Ottawa receiving honorary Canadian citizenship.

All around the world, gender-based violence remains a significant barrier to gender equality, even though it is preventable. The Government of Canada committed to strengthening federal efforts to prevent and address gender-based violence with a response that is coordinated and evidence-based. Minister Monsef has been mandated to build on the work of previous Minister of Status of Women, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, now Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour, to develop and implement a strategy to address gender-based violence in Canada. To support this work, Budget 2017 included a historic investment of $100.9 million over five years. This is the largest single investment in Status of Women Canada’s history and will significantly boost Canada’s capacity to address this issue.

The strategy will be based on three pillars that will improve Canada’s overall response to gender-based violence: prevention, support for survivors and their families, and promoting responsive legal and justice systems.

To inform the strategy, Minister Monsef consulted with the Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence earlier this week. As work on the strategy moves forward, she is also engaging with her provincial and territorial counterparts. Minister Monsef also exchanged information with Ms. Yousafzai about the ongoing development of this strategy.

More in-depth details about the gender-based violence strategy and its pillars, including next steps, will be announced in the coming weeks as the strategy takes form.


“Our Government will not remain silent on gender-based violence. Today’s framework for our gender-based violence strategy is a step towards protecting the human rights of all Canadians. Our society will reach its full potential when every Canadian is provided with the opportunity to blossom, no matter their sex, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic background. To achieve this, everyone, including boys and men, must be part of the change.”

“When I think of Malala Yousafzai, I think of courage, determination, and passion. Her dedication to human rights, access to education for all, and peace, are a source of inspiration to us all. Gender-based violence nearly stopped Malala from carrying out her important work. Resilient, Ms. Yousafzai was not silenced.”

Maryam Monsef – Minister of Status of Women

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is taking a multifaceted approach to reduce and prevent violence against women and girls. This includes the development of a strategy to address gender-based violence.
  • Budget 2017 included a historic investment of $100.9 million over five years to support this work, the largest single investment in Status of Women Canada’s history
  • The strategy will be based on three pillars: 1) Prevention; 2) Support for survivors and their families; and 3) Promoting responsive legal and justice systems.
  • In addition to the strategy, the Government of Canada is taking several additional actions to address gender-based violence, including:
    • Conducting a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls;
    • Taking action to prevent harassment and sexual violence in federally regulated workplaces;
    • Undertaking a review of the criminal justice system to see how it can be strengthened;
    • Creating a National Housing Strategy to address poverty and homelessness;
    • Establishing a National Early Learning and Child Care Framework; and
    • Amending the Criminal Code of Canada’s hate crime provisions and the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity and expression to increase protections of LGBTQ2 and gender non-conforming individuals to ensure all Canadians enjoy the same rights and freedoms.
  • Ms. Yousafzai was shot by Taliban gunmen in 2012 as she returned home from school in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, because of her work to promote girls’ education and human rights. She has since written a book about her experiences, entitled I am Malala, and co-founded The Malala Fund, an organization that promotes girls’ education. In 2014, she was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. This week, she became the youngest person to be named UN Messenger of Peace.

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