To commemorate 2020 International Human Rights Day, FAFIA and YWCA Canada release special human rights chapter for Canada’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan

Click here for the PDF version.

December 10th, 2020

Toronto, ON – To mark International Human Rights Day, The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) in partnership with YWCA Canada have released a special chapter on how to push forward a human rights approach to post-pandemic recovery.

As Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada shares, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what was already broken in society. Canada has never seen a crisis like this so we need a new approach. That’s what Canada’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan offers. However, many of the things that would have made a difference in this pandemic are grounded in pre-existing human rights obligations Canada has been a signatory to. Now is the time to act on our commitments.”

Hawa Mire, Executive Director of FAFIA highlights, “COVID-19 has exposed the deep inequities that already existed in Canada for women especially for Black women, Indigenous women, racialized women, non-status, newcomer women, women living with disabilities and 2SLGBTQ communities. It is time to recognize that this is not only a health crisis but the amplification of a systemic and structural social crisis right here in Canada.”

The A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada: Human Rights Approach publication provides an intersectional feminist human rights lens on what a meaningful COVID-19 recovery could be for our country.

Key human rights examined in the chapter include:

  • The Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
  • The Right to the Highest Standard Attainable of Physical and Mental Health
  • The Right to Adequate Housing
  • The Right to Social Security

Mire shares, “a Feminist Economic Recovery Plan must include the voices, perspectives as well as actionable commitments for the communities that are so often left behind. FAFIA has designed this chapter to continue strong advocacy on the use of a human rights-based approach as an important foundation for all Canadians.”

Roy concludes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Canada to finally realize its human rights commitments. In this publication, FAFIA and YWCA Canada lay out the human rights framework we can leverage to build an economy and society that works for everyone. Today, we offer the tools and the roadmap to make it a reality.”

On January 28th, YWCA Canada and FAFIA will host an event to unpack the publication. Registration is available at:

The publication builds on YWCA Canada’s earlier work on A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada: Making the Economy Work for Everyone with the Institute for Gender and Economy (GATE) at the University of Toronto. The plan was the first nationally-focused feminist economic recovery plan in the world. Read the entire plan at



The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) is an alliance of equality-seeking organizations committed to making international agreements on women’s human rights a reality in women’s everyday lives in Canada. FAFIA provides a forum for women from across Canada to work together to ensure a better quality of life for all women in Canada. FAFIA’s membership spans a diverse array of organizations ranging from research institutes to service providers. FAFIA’s membership is also regionally diverse, with members from 10 Provinces and Territories, as well as many national member organizations.

To learn more about FAFIA-AFAI, visit:

About YWCA Canada

YWCA Canada is a leading voice for women, girls, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse people. For 150 years, we’ve been at the forefront of a movement: to fight gender-based violence, build affordable housing, and advocate for workplace equity. We work to advance gender equity by responding to urgent needs in communities, through national advocacy and grassroots initiatives. Local YWCAs invest over $258 million annually to support over 330,000 individuals across the nation. Today, we engage young leaders, diverse communities, and corporate partners to achieve our vision of a safe and equitable Canada for all.

To learn more about YWCA Canada, visit:


For media inquiries, please contact:

Anjum Sultana, National Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications, YWCA Canada

[email protected] | 647 205 3079