The funding will be used to make online services more accessible
The Ontario government will be allocating an additional $500,000 in the Investing in Women's Futures Programme in a bid to reach out to more women who’ve been unable to avail their services because of the pandemic. The programme assists socially and economically marginalised women by helping them develop their in-demand skills so they can re-enter the workforce. It also provides employment readiness and violence prevention programming to its beneficiaries.
According to the government, the additional funding will be used to improve the programme's online services so it could be more accessible to women who have been unable to come in-person because of various reasons, such as living in a remote area and increased dependent care responsibilities at home. The funds will also be used to provide them with greater access to counselling and other necessary support to improve their physical and mental health.
Jane McKenna, associate minister of children and women's issues, said the government recognises that women are facing more challenges today, such as increased caregiving responsibilities, further economic insecurity, and possible domestic violence, because of the pandemic.
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"By increasing investments in programs to help women develop the skills they need to participate in the workforce, we are helping ensure those hardest hit by the impacts of the pandemic can maintain a sense of well-being and safety," McKenna said.
The additional $500,000 in funding brings the total allocated budget to the programme to $2.7 million. Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said the investment was included in the province's 2021 Fall Economic Statement.
"Increasing women’s participation in the workforce is a critical part of Ontario’s plan to Work for Workers and build the foundation for economic recovery," noted the minister.
The programme can be availed at 23 women's centres across Ontario. Over the past two years, it has helped assist more than 1,900 women by helping them find jobs, starting their own businesses, or pursuing further training or education.