IRCC Announces Additional Funds for Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot Program

With the Racialized Women Newcomers Pilot Program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) intend to support 10 projects with $5.8 million. As part of a 16-day awareness campaign about ending gender-based violence against women, the announcement was made in Halifax on December 9.

A pilot program for racialized newcomer women was launched in 2018 and was originally known as Visible Minority Newcomer Women at Work. Initially, the program committed $31.9 million to support employment and career advancement for racialized newcomer women over three years. Budget 2021 included $15 million over two years.

“It’s not just about getting women jobs, but about giving them a sense of belonging and dignity,” said immigration minister Sean Fraser. “By ensuring that gender equality is supported across all sectors, the Government of Canada is ensuring that gender equality is integrated into its work to end gender-based violence. “Canada’s gender equality is for all women.”

Low-Wage Jobs are More Common Among Newcomer Women

It was made more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affected newcomers, especially women, who are frequently working in retail or grocery stores.

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There is a higher rate of employment among recent immigrants to Canada within the food, hospitality, and accommodation sectors, which received the brunt of the impact during the lockdowns than they do within the other sectors. Additionally, the Labour Force Survey data for January to June 2021 show that a significant unemployment gap persists between women who have recently immigrated and women who were born in Canada (15.2% vs. 8.0%).

It has also been discovered that newcomer women are more likely to hold part-time positions, especially if they are married or in common-law relationships. According to a Statistics Canada study, 66% of immigrants who are married or in common law relationships are likely to hold full-time jobs, compared to 70% of Canadian-born women.

Women’s Empowerment Projects are a Key Component of These Projects

The Pilot involved over 2,500 clients in activities related to the Pilot over the course of the year 2019-2020, with the majority of the participants being core working age (between the ages of 25 and 54) and recent immigrants (those who have been in the country for less than five years).

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This project, run by independent organizations throughout Canada, is designed to provide language skills to newcomer women. Furthermore, they are geared towards connecting them with employers and providing them with other soft skills that are useful in finding employment in the future.

Moreover, on the other hand, there is a project that is working with newcomer women, who have IT and technical skills. The goal of the project is to assist these women in gaining the necessary credential recognition in order to find employment in Canada.

There was also a recent announcement of funding for programs aimed at eliminating gender-based violence against new and immigrant women. Specifically, a settlement sector strategy was created to combat gender-based violence against newcomer women.

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In order to prevent gender-based violence by facilitating more action and awareness, as well as multi-sectoral collaboration, this project is an initiative of the settlement sector and the anti-violence sector. In order to increase the level of capacity building among settlement sector workers that deal with gender-based violence situations, funding will be allocated.

It is the IRCC’s belief that the training, knowledge, and resources they receive will enhance their ability to provide assistance to victims with greater efficiency. During the next four years, this project will be monitored in order to build a common knowledge base regarding gender-based violence in settlements while simultaneously establishing programs that educate newcomers about the services and resources available to them, including those in smaller cities and rural areas.

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