Towards the National Action Plan to Address Gender Based ViolenceMarch 29, 2021
At the end of January this year, provincial ministers in charge of women’s affairs agreed to the development of a framework meant to set the standard for provinces and municipalities across the country to better support survivors of gender-based violence and their families, and to prevent it from happening; bringing about systemic change. The framework will also ensure that anyone facing GBV would have reliable and timely access to protection and services.
Driven by the urgency brought by COVID-19 due to its psychological and socially disruptive consequences including a surge in GBV, it was agreed the framework will be developed by end of March 2021. Consequently, consultations have been held nationwide. Among them, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCACI) hosted a stakeholder and service provider community engagement session focused on identifying the priorities for non-status, refugee and immigrant (NSRI) women.
This engagement process enabled partners, including OLIP, to bring forward the unique needs of NSRI women, while identifying the impact of current policies, programs and protocols that have been implemented in our communities and regions; as well as solutions moving forward. There was an overall agreement that targeted plans and programs for NSRI women that address their compounding challenges in equitable access to housing, education, health and employment are essential to prevent women from entering and remaining in abusive, oppressive relationships caused by dependency.
The development of a national framework to address gender based violence is part of the implementation of the Federal Government’s strategy titled “It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence” that was unveiled in June 20217. This strategy is built on federal initiatives, while coordinating existing programs to lay the foundation for greater action on GBV, across three pillars: (1) Preventing gender-based violence, (2) Supporting survivors and their families and (3) Promoting responsive legal and justice systems.