Canadian government proposes $300M social media campaign to promote gender equity
The federal government has announced plans to spend $300 million to build a national platform for social media that will encourage more women to speak up on issues like sexual harassment, gender equality and climate change.
The federal Liberals announced Tuesday they plan to spend the money to support an online platform called #MakeUsGreatAgain.
The platform, which was first announced in February, is designed to bring together Canadian voices on social media to share and promote information, promote community and increase public awareness of the importance of creating inclusive communities for everyone.
“As the first federal government to embrace the idea of making us great again, we are thrilled to be part of this great initiative,” said the minister of justice, Rob Nicholson, in a statement.
The Liberals announced the funding in their 2015 election platform and have been working on it ever since.
Last year, the government said it was launching the new platform to “raise awareness of issues that are of utmost importance to Canadians.”
The new platform is being built on the premise that “women are the future of Canada,” said Justice Minister Maryam Monsef, in an interview with CBC News.
“We’re going to make sure we’re making sure we are using the most effective tools and technologies available to women to share information about their experiences, their experiences with issues, their stories,” she said.
The minister said the platform will be open to all Canadians, regardless of gender or socio-economic status.
“The goal is to create a space where women can be heard,” she added.
“When we say women, we mean women of colour, women of age, women who have been affected by gender-based violence, all of these issues, and also people who are experiencing sexual harassment and abuse.”
Monsef is hopeful the platform can be used by all Canadians in the future.
“I think that this is a really great opportunity to engage women and people of colour and people who have suffered sexual harassment,” she told CBC News in an exclusive interview.
The new platforms will be launched by the end of March.
The platform is designed with a focus on women in the digital age and will be a platform that “will be used across the country,” Monseff said.
It will also allow for users to share “stories of the most meaningful experiences” they have had on social platforms, she said, “so that we can better understand and combat the root causes of gender inequality.”
The government will also work with a number of other groups, including the Canadian Foundation for Women, to ensure that the platform is used by people who “represent the broadest range of people and backgrounds in Canada.”
The federal government also announced a $20-million fund to provide social media support to women and girls who are in crisis, including those experiencing abuse and violence.
“Achieving justice is a complex, multi-faceted endeavour and it takes courage, commitment and dedication to do so,” said Minister of Immigration and Refugees Chris Alexander in a press release.
The fund is intended to support the work of local organizations that are working to address sexual violence and sexual harassment in the community.
The funding is part of a new $200-million package announced by the federal government in 2015 to fight sexual harassment.
The package included $5 million to support women’s organizations to support victims of sexual violence.
It also included $25 million for women’s centres to create and implement programs and support for victims.
The money will be spent on “training and support services for survivors and their families and community partners.”