A Project of the Canadian Council for Refugees

Call for Proposals from Local Host Organizations
The CCR is launching a project to apply a gender-based approach to settlement services and policies.  We are seeking organizations to host local meetings within and beyond the settlement sector. 
The objectives of the project are to:
1.   Increase understanding of how gender impacts the settlement and integration process;
2.   Assist settlement organizations in at least 5 provinces to develop resources for implementing and evaluating a gender-based analysis in their programs and services;
3.   Identify the impact of government settlement and integration policies and programs on gender equality;
4.   Begin to advocate for changes to such policies and programs to make them more consistent with the principles of gender equality enshrined in the Canadian Constitution.


Gender is created and re-created with different meanings depending on communities, cultures and locations.  It is often expressed in our roles, responsibilities and behaviours. 
Social and economic systems are gendered, meaning these systems affect people differently (giving advantage to some and imposing disadvantage on some) depending on their gender.  Gender oppression is often experienced in combination or intersection with various forms of oppression and discrimination.  It is important to consider these points of intersection throughout the gender analysis process.

Gender in settlement experiences

 *Who is the head of a household and how is this concept gendered?  How does this concept affect youth who have come to Canada without an adult guardian?
*When, to whom and how is anti-violence against women education offered to refugees and immigrants in Canada?  Does anti-violence education adequately consider race?
*Have you considered that the mother seeking your advice in the context of divorcing her husband might need to be connected with a lesbian mothers peer group? How can your services and space make disclosure easier for such women?"
* Do your services include ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or LSQ (Qubec Sign Language)? How can needs be met  for refugees and immigrants of the Deaf culture who do not communicate in one of the official languages of Canada (French or English)?
*What does it mean to come out (or declare one's sexual orientation) as an immigrant in various communities?
*Why are many services relating to food security primarily focussed on women and mothers?
*What would you say to a young refugee woman who is questioning her gender identity?
*How are employment programs tailored to men?  How do they exclude immigrant and refugee women?
*Why is child care not provided for the immigrant mens group that meets every Tuesday afternoon?
These are just a few of the questions one can ask when approaching the settlement sector in Canada from a gender-sensitive perspective.  While there is no formula for answering these questions, they can initiate discussion and engage us in the work of improving settlement services and policies.  If you have asked any of these questions or others like them, or if you are curious about the implications of these questions, the CCR invites your participation in the Gender-based Approach to Settlement Project in 2006!

As a part of the project, local hosts will organize meetings in several locations across Canada to:
1.  Raise awareness about gender analysis and the need for it in the settlement sector while gathering questions and information for analyzing barriers to settlement from a gender perspective.  These questions and information will inform the development of a resource tool (booklet) for applying gender sensitive practices;
2.  Put forward recommendations for policy change.
The CCR will provide guidelines for the organization of the meetings, including which sectors to invite, the format and agenda of the meetings (a variety of options will be offered) and $1,000 in seed money.
Local host organizations will be expected to identify the type of participants to be invited in their community (see list below) , send out invitations, provide or find appropriate space to host the meeting(s), provide refreshments, provide childcare as needed, plan the meeting based on agenda options provided by CCR, moderate the meeting(s) (either one full day meeting or two half-day meetings), and submit a written report to the CCR on the meeting outcomes.
Type of participants: It is hoped that different meetings will focus on different types of participants to give a variety of inputs.  For example, meetings might focus on one or more of the following:
- settlement service providers (frontline, managers, executive directors, English/French as Second Language teachers)
- users of settlement services (youth, seniors, more and less recently arrived in Canada, mens only group)
- advocacy groups
- equity-seeking groups
- disAbility groups
- womens groups (shelters, family violence, group)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer groups
- Transgender, Transexual, Intersex, Genderqueer groups
- religious organizations (involved in settlement)
- private sponsors
- different levels of government (including Status of Women)
- Boards of education, health providers, youth protection
By way of follow up to the local meetings, the CCR will offer a workshop at its international conference 17-19 June 2006 in Toronto, further refine a resource tool for practicing a gender-based approach in refugee- and immigrant-serving agencies, and produce recommendations for policy change.
The CCR will use the following criteria in selecting organizations to host local meetings:
1.      Organizational and material capacities, in terms of resources and facilities they can offer, including space accessibility (ASL interpretation, wheelchair-accessible, etc.) and  experience organizing similar events.
2.      Networking capacities: knowledge of relevant players in the community, including refugees and immigrants, NGOs within and beyond the settlement sector, government, academia, etc.
3.      Interest in developing and/or commitment to anti-oppression analysis and the ways in which racism, xenophobia, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism intersect.  Applicants are encouraged to outline how they hope to learn and apply gender analysis to their agency after the completion of their local meeting(s).
4.      Geographic location:  Meetings are to be held in 10 communities across the country, in at least 5 provinces, with representation from rural, town and urban contexts.
5.      Connection to the CCR:  Among otherwise equal candidates, preference will be given to CCR member organizations, especially those with a high degree of involvement in CCR activities.
6.      Willingness on the part of the organization to undertake the project in partnership with the CCR, and to fully agree on the terms of the contract.
7.      Strong facilitation resource person(s) available.  Applicants are encouraged to name the facilitator(s) they intend to have at their local meeting(s) and describe facilitator(s) experience and skills.
8.      Type of participation applicants anticipate drawing into local meeting(s). An effort will be made to have a balance of diverse representation across local meetings.  Hosts will also be expected to address issues of diversity within the groups they are inviting (e.g. if newly arrived immigrants, is there diversity among those immigrants represented?)
Organizations in the same municipality are encouraged to work in collaboration and host a meeting jointly.
If you would like to host a local meeting, please send a comprehensive application to Julie Mooney, Project Coordinator at

Review of applications will begin January 27, 2006.  Applications received after January 27 may be retained depending on whether or not the ten host positions have been appropriately filled.

Applications should cover the following:
-         who you plan to invite to the meeting
-         whether you will hold a full-day meeting or two half-day meetings
-         who the facilitator(s) will be and what their relevant qualifications are
-         what the date of the meeting will be and where you plan to hold it (please note that meetings must be held prior to May 2006)
-         further information to show how you meet the criteria listed above
In addition to the local meetings, we encourage organizations to look for opportunities to discuss a gender-based approach to settlement, for example at staff meetings, at board meetings, at meetings of umbrella organizations. The materials available can be adapted for such meetings.

If you are interested in getting involved in any aspect of this project and/or would like to receive more information about it, please contact Julie Mooney, Project Coordinator at 
Please feel free to pass on this message to any individual or group you think might be interested.

Canadian Council for Refugees
6839 Drolet #302
Montréal, QC, H2S 2T1
(514) 277-7223
fax (514) 277-1447