HISTORIC FEDERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Historic Federal Announcement for Women and Sport – 2018 Federal Budget includes $30M for women and sport, and a goal of gender equality by 2035

Toronto, February 27, 2018 – The 2018 Federal Budget presented by Finance Minister Bill Morneau includes an historic $30 million in funding for women and sport initiatives, and a target of achieving gender equality at all levels of sport by 2035. CAAWS celebrates this bold new national vision and investment, which has the potential to be a turning point in the decades-long effort to provide girls and women with equitable opportunities to participate and lead in sport.

The federal government seeks to increase understanding of the barriers to female inclusion in sport and to advance solutions. The $30 million in committed funding is over three years and is for data, research and innovation in practice, as well as to support National Sport Organizations to promote inclusion—all towards the stated goal of equality in sport at every level by 2035.

“Achieving equity and inclusion for women and sport is critical to the future of sport in Canada—for its relevance to Canadians and its impact on communities. It is also key to achieving equity for women in the workforce and society at large,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO of CAAWS. “It is fantastic to see this opportunity recognized by the federal government in such a profound way, and with dedicated resources to bring it to life.”

Research shows that sport involvement positively impacts girls’ social and psychological well-being, academic success, and career opportunities. Unfortunately, girls and women are significantly underrepresented in participation and leadership from playground to podium, precluding many from realizing these benefits. It is a systemic challenge that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage recently explored, resulting in a report that identified 16 recommendations for change.

CAAWS is dedicated to ensuring more girls gain access to these lifelong benefits. Its aim is to create an equitable and inclusive sport system that empowers girls and women—as participants and leaders—within and through sport. The organization works in partnership with governments, organizations and leaders to further knowledge, shift attitudes and increase competency in delivering inclusive sport throughout the system.

“We applaud Sport Canada and the Department of Finance for putting the weight of their influence and resources towards this longstanding issue. This move is unprecedented in Canada for its scale and potential societal impact. Realizing this impact will require hard work and collaboration throughout the sport system. With 37 years of committed leadership and impact, CAAWS is ready to play a lead role in driving this change forward,” commented Sandip Lalli, CAAWS Chair.

Read the 2018 Federal Budget, visit https://www.budget.gc.ca/2018/home-accueil-en.html.

More insight on the current landscape of women and sport in Canada is available in the Women in Sport: Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation report available at http://www.caaws.ca/e/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/FWC_ResearchPublication_EN_7March2016.pdf.

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage report can be retrieved from http://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/CHPC/report-7/.