Directory of Provincial and National Agencies in Canada Working on Gender Issues

Provincial Councils & Directorates
Women's Centre Networks National Research & Advocacy Agencies Other Directories

Provincial Councils & Directorates

The following agencies are government departments or provincially funded arm's length agencies, to promote gender equality by conducting conduct research and advocacy activities to inform government policy, and raise social awareness overall.

Alberta Children and Youth Services: Women's Issues
Responsible for addressing women's issues in the province, the department's site includes a small listing of resources, including a directory of women's organizations.

British Columbia Women's Services, Ministry of Health
Site provides information on provincial government services for women, funding opportunities, and links to women's organizations in the province.

Manitoba Women's Advisory Council
Arms-length organization created to promote women's interests and concerns to government.

New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Reporting to the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, the Council works to ensure women's interests are represented at the policy level. They are also engaged in research, public education, and networking with the province's women's organizations. Their website makes available a number of reports and guides for women seeking information on education, health, employment and legal rights.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women
The Office advocates on women's behalf primarily in the areas of health, violence prevention, poverty and work. They are active in promoting educational opportunities in skilled trades for women through the WRDC Educational Resource Centre.

Northwest Territories Status of Women Council
The Council actively promotes women's increased participation in Territorial politics. Their other two key areas of activity are addressing family violence, and economic development including the promotion of women's training for skilled trades in the oil and gas sector.

Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women
NSACSW conducts research and informs public policy on issues impacting women in the province.

Ontario Women's Directorate
The Ontario Women's Directorate, through its initiative “Promoting Women's Economic Independence” focuses its educational support for women in four main areas: women's educational opportunities in skilled trades, career promotion for young women, funding women's centres active in providing education and training, and information technology training for women. The website provides information on grants and other activities in these sectors.

PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women
The Council advises government on matters relating to the status of women, the development of public awareness regarding issues affecting women, and the promotion of change in attitudes within the community in order that women may enjoy an equality of opportunity. The website provides a range of educational guides, policy documents for government, as well as a listing of community events.

Quebec Conseil du statut de la femme
The Council is engaged in research and documentation on various aspects affecting women's roles in Quebec society. They provide information intended to support the work of women's organizations in the province.

Saskatchewan Status of Women Office
The Status of Women Office provides a range of online publications as well as the Saskatchewan Women's Directory, a searchable database of women's organizations in the province.

Yukon Women's Directorate

Status of Women Canada
SWC provides funding on projects in accordance with federal government priorities.

Networks for Women's Centres, Shelters and Organizations

Networks or coalitions of women's organizations that collaborate on shared issues.

A Commitment to Training and Employment for Women (ACTEW)
ACTEW describes itself as an umbrella organization working with education providers in Ontario involved with women’s employment training. It facilitates networking among trainers and organizations, engages in public education activities, and collaborates in research.

Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters

Nova Scotia: Transition House Association of Nova Scotia

Ontario Association of Women's Centres

Ontario: Family Law Education for Women
"FLEW is made up of representatives of equality-seeking organizations that are committed to FLEW's goal of increasing women's access to information about family law rights."

L'R des centres de femmes du Québec

Provincial Association of Transition Houses & Services of Saskatchewan

Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador

Westcoast LEAF
Public legal education program based in BC. "West Coast LEAF recognizes that if women are informed about their equality rights, they will be able to take an active role in asserting their rights and be able to mobilize to shape the laws that define them. The program aims to transform public legal education, collaborate with diverse equality seeking groups, distribute public legal education materials, evaluate education initiatives and reflect West Coast LEAF's initiatives."

National Level Research and Advocacy Agencies:

Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE)
CASAE is a primary source of information on women and learning in Canada. Though more broadly focused on adult education, the organization provides a space for researchers at Canadian Institutions to present work on women and learning. Of particular interest here is the listing of proceedings of conferences of the national association. A 10-year review of these proceedings highlight themes and trends in research on women and show that certain researchers have consistently presented on women's issues. There has been a discernable change from research on women and learning to immigration and technology and how these affect women and learning.

Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE)
A constituent association of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, CASWE hosts a bi-annual Institute providing a forum for researchers to present current research in this field.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
CCPA is a research and lobbying institute promoting economic and social justice in Canada. Education is one of its research areas, and issues of gender inequality figure prominently in their research overall. In 2008, it released a report surveying the changing trends in public funding for women's organizations.

Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women (CCLOW)
Before it disbanded in 2000, CCLOW conducted research on a wide range of topics on women and learning, provided scholarships, and played a critical role in policy engagement promoting women's educational opportunities. Fortunately, research publications from CCLOW continue to be available for open-access on the National Adult Literacy Database under the “women’s issues” section of its literacy collection. CCLOW's paper archives are maintained by the Women's Collection at the Archives and Collections Canada. The loss of such a national organization coordinating, supporting and disseminating research on women and learning is substantial.

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
CRIAW is engaged in research and networking activities promoting women's equality. It produces publications on feminist research, economic analyses, health, violence, education, culture and the law.

Canadian Women's Health Network

Canadian Women's Foundation
The CWF engages in policy research in the area of building women's economic independence, including access to education and programming, as well as offers grants to community-based projects providing training to women. The Foundation supports programming designed specifically for women, arguing, "Women focused programs are more effective for vulnerable women" (Murray & Ferguson, 2001, p. 52). In addition to providing grants supporting economic empowerment and anti-violence activities, this foundation engages in research and policy work to raise awareness around the issues it supports.

Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition féminine (CDÉACF)
Le Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition féminine (CDÉACF) a pour mission de collecter, diffuser, promouvoir et rendre accessibles les savoirs et les savoir-faire des milieux de l'éducation des adultes, de l'alphabétisation et de la condition féminine du Québec et des communautés francophones du Canada.

Famous Five Foundation
Named in honour of the Famous Five who championed women's political rights in the early 20th century, this foundation continues this work by supporting women's efforts in political participation and leadership.

Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)
Coalition of over 75 Canadian women's equality-seeking and related organizations. FAFIA's mandate is to further women's equality in Canada through domestic implementation of its international human rights commitments.

"Kickaction is an online community space for girls and young women who think for themselves, take a stand and act creatively to bring positive change to their communities and across the globe."

Native Women's Association of Canada
"The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women within First Nation, Métis and Canadian societies."

PAR-L: Canadian Electronic Feminist Network
Email listserv that provides a forum to discuss current issues and news stories from feminist perspectives. It is also a good platform for announcements on new research, events, employment and learning opportunities in gender-related fields.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
"Pauktuutit fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, advocates for equity and social improvements, and encourages their participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada. Pauktuutit leads and supports Canadian Inuit women in policy development and community projects in all areas of interest to them, for the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of the women, their families and communities." making the links for abused women works with women's shelters and anti-violence agencies by providing website development support, information resources on abuse for centres, and a comprehensive directory of shelters for women in crisis.

Women's Economic Council
Formerly called the Canadian Women's Economic Development Council, this is an organization of women CED practitioners promoting “women-centred” community economic development, works with marginalized women facing barriers based on race, ability, economic status, etc. Funded by the Women's Program Agenda for Gender Equality (AGE), Status of Women Canada, stated spheres of work include research, information sharing, advocacy, capacity building, and policy change. This includes a Women's CED Learning Network (Rock Murray, 2005).

Women's Healthy Environments Network
WHEN collaborates with community organizations to raise awareness on the links between environment and health.

Women's Human Rights Resources Programme (WHRR)
"The WHRR collects, organizes and disseminates information on women's human rights law to facilitate research, teaching and cooperation. The information introduces women's human rights law in general, emphasizes selected international and Canadian topics, and explores the interconnections between domestic and international human rights law."

Directories of Women's Organizations in Canada

There is no single, fully comprehensive listing of women's organizations in Canada. Directories and listings on organization websites often focus on only one sector or region, and many of these are not updated.

Websites examined in a forthcoming study on feminist organizations' use of the Internet in Canada

Alberta Women's Organizations, (PDF file)

Charity Village: Women

Civil Society and Public Policy: A Directory of Non-Profit Organizations Engaged in Public Policy, (PDF file)
Susan Carter, Betty Plewes and Havi Echenberg produced this directory in 2005. Arranged alphabetically, a keyword search identifies organizations working on behalf of women's rights, and may help grassroots women's organizations identify larger regional advocacy agencies and networks with whom they can work on issues of shared concern.

Ontario Association of Women's Centres Directory

Saskatchewan Women's Directory Find a Shelter, shelters, associations
Extensive listings of organizations organized by topic, and searchable by province.

Women’s Shelters across Canada, 2004: Federal Government maintained directory of shelters. (PDF file)

International Associations and Directories:

Global List of Women’s Organizations (not updated since 2004)

Hot Peaches Pages (international directory of women's shelters)

We Are Equalsb>

International Indigenous Women's Forum

Women’s Organisations in the US:

Gender & Adult Learning Homepage

Updated March 18, 2011