Projects and Research

Our work to learn more about the experience of women in politics and demonstrate the need for change

Our projects

Equal Voice’s projects center around encouraging women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals to seek leadership and decision-making roles in Canadian politics. Equal Voice offers various programs that equip women to succeed, advocate for representation, and build stronger communities amongst women in Canada. We are constantly developing new programs to better support the women looking to enter politics and make their mark.

Combating Sexual Harassment in Provincial/Territorial Legislatures

The objective of this project is to increase awareness and knowledge around sexual harassment in the political sector and provide politicians and their staff working within legislatures, with resource materials, best practices, and knowledge to combat sexual harassment within legislatures.

The project will develop, adapt, update and disseminate resources, policies, and procedures on best practices surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace and ways to access avenues of resolution when dealing with a case.

Research is currently underway and results will be posted soon.

Funded by the Government of Canada

The 50/30 project

This project will provide program support to 50 – 30 Challenge participants who have pledged to increase the diversity of their boards and senior leadership. Egale Canada intends to link Challenge Participants to best practices and tools, provide guidance and advice on other diversity supports specific to each organization’s unique needs, promote the What Works Toolkit, and report on the progress of 50 – 30 participants.

Rosemary Leadership Grant

The Rosemary Speirs Leadership Grant was first launched in 2019 for the 2019 Daughters of the Vote delegates. The aim of the Grant is to encourage delegates to accelerate advocacy efforts in their local communities. This grant is named in honour of Dr. Rosemary Speirs, the founder of Equal Voice. As a leader in the Canadian women’s movement and as a volunteer she was worked to ensure the participation of girls and women in Canadian politics. This grant is a continuation of her trailblazing efforts and feminist advocacy; it is a fitting tribute to name it in her honour.

The Rosemary Speirs Leadership Grant directly funds 338 young women and gender non-conforming leaders to accelerate advocacy efforts in local communities across Canada.

Partnership Series

Equal Voice strongly encourages women to get involved in their communities as well as in political campaigns. In order to provide an accessible and manageable way to get started, we have hosted information during the last federal election. This allows the opportunity for our supporters to hear from each of the major Political Parties on how they can get involved. The goal of the sessions will be to provide a safe space for women and gender diverse folks to connect directly with party representatives to ask questions, learn more about the parties’ policies, and how to get involved and volunteer.

Additionally, Equal Voice emphasizes maintaining partnerships with other community organizations in order to expose diverse voices and awareness on a variety of topics – thus creating the ‘Workshop Series’. The objective behind this initiative was to bring light to a range of social issues and subjects that affect Canadian society as a whole in all its diversity. 

Coffee Break

In 2020, Equal Voice launched our first-ever national Virtual Coffee Break series and was so thrilled to have hundreds of women from across Canada join us to discuss political engagement with elected women from all political parties during COVID-19. Participants were able to hear from various women politicians, past and present, from major political parties and directly ask questions about their experience in Canadian politics.

Democracy Action Fund

Equal Voice has been selected for the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) through Canada’s Women Foundation. The IRP is aimed to support social purpose organizations (SPOs) in building their capacity to participate in Canada’s social finance market. Through the IRP, the Canadian Women’s Foundation aims to boost sector participation of women and gender diverse people in social innovation and social finance.

As one of the grantees through the systemic change stream, Equal Voice wants to understand how we can create social finance resourcing mechanisms and tools to ensure that women and underrepresented groups have better access to funds to participate in electoral politics. Electoral laws in Canada have important parameters in place to ensure that political financing is fair and transparent, but what innovative and unlocking capacity can be created that works within these conditions?

This exploratory work through June 2023 to March 2024 would allow for relevant stakeholders to work with us to test and validate assumptions, to plan and design potential options and scenarios and then to begin to take steps towards putting a financing platform together. With the technical expertise and support of legal researchers, by engaging with other partner organizations, we want to be able to build out viable models for a national fund and identify prospective funding partners. 

Modernizing Legislatures

Through this 27-month project, Equal Voice will advance women’s leadership and decision-making through systemic change in Canada’s legislatures post Covid-19. Legislatures are places of tradition, but pandemic has led to dramatic innovation and modernization.  

We will work to ensure that Canada’s legislatures emerge from the pandemic as more gender-sensitive institutions. This will alleviate systemic barriers to women’s participation in politics and includes supports like allowing elected officials to participate in a hybrid model where needed, such as for childbirth, illness, family responsibilities, or other exceptional circumstances.

Committee Report

This project is funded by the government of Canada – Ministry for Women and Gender Equality and Youth.