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As Minister of State (Status of Women), I am pleased to present Status of Women Canada’s Departmental Performance Report for 2007–2008. The report outlines the important achievements of this agency over the last fiscal year and demonstrates how it continues to fulfill its mandate.
First, I would like to say that I am honoured to be appointed Minister of State (Status of Women). As the first ministerial post dedicated exclusively to the status of women, this designation represents Canada’s continued commitment to advancing equality for women in our society.
The year 2007–2008 was a period of transformation for Status of Women Canada. Budget 2007 provided an additional $10 million in funding, bringing Status of Women Canada’s total annual budget to a record $29.9 million.
The mandate of the Women’s Program was revised and two new funding components were created: the Women’s Community Fund and the Women’s Partnership Fund. These changes enabled Status of Women Canada to broaden the reach of the Women’s Program, to build strategic partnerships, to leverage resources and to achieve results that have a direct impact on women.
The Partnership Fund focuses on removing obstacles to women’s full participation in all areas of Canadian life. In 2007–2008, 14 collaborative projects were undertaken under this Fund, all designed to create systemic changes for women across society. These projects benefited from new partnerships with seven federal departments, 13 provincial/territorial ministries and 39 private-sector and other organizations, leveraging $15.7 million in financial and in-kind contributions. With these strategic in-vestments in women, we are contributing to Canada’s success.
By helping various organizations take gender into account in the development, analysis and implementation of public policies and programs, we also made progress to-ward enhanced accountability on gender equality.
As one of the 15 member departments and agencies of the federal Family Violence Initiative, Status of Women Canada addresses the very serious issue of violence against women and girls in Canada. In 2007–2008, Status of Women Canada continued its work as Canada’s voice in international fora and with our provincial and territorial partners to advance equality for women.
The results outlined in this report demonstrate our continuing commitment to women, their families and their communities. We will invest strategically in creating the conditions for success that will enable women to become full and active participants in all aspects of Canadian life. Canada’s continued economic growth and prosperity depend on the very significant contributions of women.
In 2007–2008, as a Canadian Heritage Portfolio agency, Status of Women Canada contributed to the advancement of equality for women and their full participation in all areas of Canadian society. In the coming months, Status of Women Canada will continue to support Government priorities, focusing on advancing the economic security and prosperity of women, on promoting women’s safety at home and in their communities, and particularly on ending violence against women and empowering women to assume leadership roles in Canadian institutions.
As a Canadian Heritage agency, Status of Women Canada has helped to create a more prosperous nation, where Canadians of all generations and all backgrounds can take part in the rich social, cultural and economic life this country has to offer.
The Honourable Helena Guergis
Minister of State (Status of Women)
I submit for tabling in Parliament the 2007–2008 Departmental Performance Report for the Office of the Coordinator, Status of Women (Status of Women Canada).
This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2007–2008 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:
The role of the Office of the Coordinator, Status of Women (Status of Women Canada – SWC) is to promote the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of Canada. To play this role effectively, SWC works in collaboration with other federal departments and agencies, different levels of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. SWC also works with other countries and international organizations to meet Canada’s international obligations and to further its domestic and foreign policies regarding equality for women and men.
The legal mandate of SWC is “to coordinate policy with respect to the status of women and administer related programs.” In fulfilling its mandate, SWC seeks to achieve an enduring benefit for Canadians, that of “gender equality and the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural and political life of Canada.” This strategic outcome requires the contributions of different players, and SWC’s role is important in its realization. Thus, the SWC strategic framework identifies key expected results that serve as milestones to monitor progress and contribute to the achievement of this societal outcome.
This report provides performance information on the basis of the Management Resources and Results Structure (MRRS). The Program Activity Architecture (PAA) for 2007–2008 will be used to present the two program activities and their expected results and to demonstrate how these results contribute to the SWC strategic outcome. The PAA being reported on has changed for 2008–2009, and the modified activities will be presented in the next year’s DPR. The SWC investment, both human and financial resources, towards the achievement of these results will also be presented, as will the alignment between SWC Program Activities and the Government of Canada outcomes.
The year 2007–2008 was a period of transition for SWC because of changes to its outcomes, funding mechanisms, organizational structure, governance, and human and financial resources. While carrying out its ongoing activities, SWC implemented the following four program and corporate priorities to enhance efficiency and improve results:
a Budget 2007 provided SWC with an additional $10 million in funding, bringing the total annual budget for SWC to $29.9 million. However, for 2007–2008, this amount does not include a transfer of $200,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage for the development of Official Language Minority Communities (Interdepartmental Partnership with Official Language Communities), bringing to $30.1 million the total authorities for 2007–2008.
The following table shows the two program activities with their corresponding results and the links with the 2007–2008 priorities. As well, planned and actual spending are identified.
Strategic Outcome: Gender equality (GE) and the full participation of women in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of Canada.
SWC carries out environmental scans to assess the overall context so that it can develop strategies to address the historical trends and evolving issues that impact equality between women and men. Accordingly, the analyses conducted show that SWC carries out its mandate in a context in which encouraging progress is being made in the overall status of women. For example, as the next table on this page shows, women have made inroads in higher education (e.g., entering fields where they were traditionally under-represented), income, workplace representation, and others.
Source: Statistics Canada (Women in Canada 2005)
In spite of the progress made with regard to the status of women, gaps remain in key areas between women and men. For example, women remain concentrated in traditional occupations. According to Statistic Canada (Women in Canada, 5th edition), 67% of all employed women (compared with 30% of all employed men) work in teaching, nursing, and related health occupations; clerical or other administrative positions; and sales and service. Also, women earn less than men in almost every age group. Moreover, these gaps are disproportionately present among specific groups of women.
Source: Statistics Canada (Women in Canada 2005)
1 Sources: Catalyst (2007). Census of Women Board Directors of the Financial Post 500: Voices from the Boardroom; and Rosenzweig & Company (2008). Report on Women at the Top Levels of Corporate Canada.
According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), at least one of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime—with the abuser usually being someone known to her.2
According to Statistics Canada: Women in Canada 2005; Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2006 and 2007, Measuring Violence Against Women—Statistical Trends 2006:
2 In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women: Report of the Secretary General, 2006. A/61/122/Add.1. July 6, 2006.
In 2007–2008, change was the dominant theme for SWC; thus, the reporting year was a period of transition. SWC therefore took measures to manage internal and external changes so as to ensure the effective implementation of its priorities and ongoing activities.
In its Report on Plans and Priorities, SWC had indicated that the main challenges and risks would be identified during the implementation of the new organizational structure and internal and external processes. The year was, therefore, a period in which SWC saw opportunities and managed potential risks.
Given the nature and scope of the changes introduced in 2006–2007, risk management was a key priority during the reporting year both in the strategic direction and the operations of the organization. Although SWC has sufficient control mechanisms to manage inherent risks, it is recognized that the organization must develop an integrated risk management strategy. Development of a corporate risk profile is therefore planned for 2008–2009.
In 2007–2008, SWC identified four program and corporate priorities to help achieve the expected results, to facilitate progress toward the strategic outcome, and to enhance organizational performance. To implement these priorities effectively, SWC took various measures, including adapting new approaches, streamlining existing systems, investing strategically, enhancing processes, and building staff capacity.
In implementing its first program priority (strengthening accountability in the federal government for gender-based analysis and for the full participation of women in Canadian society), SWC made strategic interventions by way of capacity building, policy advice, and assistance to federal institutions. As a result, there is an increased response to SWC efforts to strengthen federal accountability for GBA, leading toward the integration of gender considerations in public policies and programs.
The second priority (focus the Women’s Program on funding projects that will advance the full participation of women in Canadian society) was implemented by instituting key changes to the funding program, including the use of calls for proposals, proactive outreach to potential funding recipients, and an enhanced and standard review process. These changes, among others, facilitated a greater focus on projects that demonstrate results that have a direct impact on women so that they are equipped to become full participants in society.
In response to the Management Accountability Framework assessment (2006), SWC also identified two corporate priorities. To implement the first corporate priority, (i.e., development and implementation of Values and Ethics Framework), the SWC Executive Committee endorsed an action plan that involves the development of an organizational code of conduct which is in compliance with the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. A corporate-wide process was launched during the reporting year to engage staff in defining departmental values. At the same time, discussions have begun to explore the augmentation of existing support structures and recourse mechanisms available to staff, through a Memorandum of Understanding with Canadian Heritage and other measures, as appropriate.
To implement the second priority (review and improvement of SWC Authorities and enhancing understanding of the Parliamentary supply processes), internal controls in financial systems were implemented to segregate the different departmental authorities, training was offered to management, and key positions were filled with staff that brought the expertise required in this area. As a result, there is increased awareness within the organization of the Parliamentary supply process and the associated requirements, and an improved review process and appropriate use of the legal authorities bestowed on the organization.