Prepared by Priyanka Ravi; Edited by Michael Zimmer on May 27, 2023


The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) received a $768,000 investment from the government of Ontario, which was disclosed in late March. The investment was part of addressing employment barriers faced by women in certain sectors. The significance of this investment in addressing the disparities faced by Canadian women underscores the importance for organizations across the country to work towards reducing barriers for women, particularly immigrant women, in the labour market.

The information that follows will give a general overview of the efforts being made by Canada to assist immigrant women entering the country, both at the federal level through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and at the provincial/territorial level.


The Women @ Risk (WAR) Program

Women at Risk (WAR) is a programme run by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that aids women who need urgent protection or who are vulnerable but do not have to show that they have settlement potential.



To qualify for assistance under the Urgent Protection Programme (UPP), women participating in this programme, together with their dependents they may have, must still pass all necessary Canadian admission exams including medical and security exams.


Initiative by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

The Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) initiative and Women at Risk (WAR), a part of the Urgent Protection initiative (UPP), are the federal programmes and services that IRCC provides to women who are emigrating to Canada.


Radical initiatives by Provincial & Territorial governments

To assist newcomer women with everything from day-to-day living as they adjust to Canada, to finding job, studying for an eventual citizenship exam, and even finding a mentor (or becoming one), each Canadian province and territory helps through local organisations.

Here is a list of organisations that aid Canadian immigrant women in at least one province or territory. This page from the Government of Canada provides a more comprehensive list of immigrant women’s services in each province/territory (apart from Quebec).


The radicalized newcomer women pilot program

Program aims to enhance the economic participation and career advancement opportunities for racialized newcomer women to participate equally and fully in [Canada’s] economy is made possible by the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot (RNWP) programme, which offers newcomer women in Canada settlement services and support to improve their employment outcomes and career advancement.

Starting from January 2023, the IRCC has increased the funding for the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot Programme



Initiatives by the government of Alberta

Among other things, the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association offers programmes to assist immigrant women in navigating everyday life, locating work, finding a mentor, and receiving general or job-specific language training.

Alberta’s Making Changes Employment Association helps women searching for work. Making Changes is “dedicated to fostering a safe environment while assisting in the advancement of women’s futures in our community.”


Initiatives by the government of British Columbia

Women’s Economic Council, a registered charity in Vancouver, works to advance every woman’s participation in building resilient and inclusive economies, especially women who experience multiple systemic barriers.

A non-profit that assists recent immigrants and refugees of all types, Umoja Operation Compassion Society (Surrey) offers specialised programmes to assist newcomers with everyday living and employment opportunities. They also provide services tailored especially for ladies.


Initiatives by the government of Manitoba

Jobs services provider Manitoba Start – Employment Solutions for newcomers Inc. (Winnipeg): Helps newcomers in locating jobs and adjusting to life in Canada, particularly programmes tailored to women.


Initiatives by the government of Ontario

Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services (Toronto) is an organisation that offers services to immigrants and refugees with the mission of “improving health outcomes [for those] who have been made vulnerable by systemic barriers and poverty.”

According to their website, Immigrant Women Services Ottawa provides programmes and services that are concentrated on three main areas: settlement and integration, interpretation and translation, and crisis intervention and counselling.



Initiatives by the government of Quebec

Women’s Centre of Montreal: A group that assists recent immigrants who are women “throughout the immigration process [by offering] services to facilitate… settlement and integration through individual support and/or group activities.”


Initiatives by the government of Saskatchewan

LEAD (Saskatoon) – International Women of Saskatoon: The International Women of Saskatchewan offers a wide range of programmes and services for Canadian immigrant women, including assistance with finding jobs and job search, specialised language tests, settlement resources, as well as tools for community participation.


Initiatives by the government of Nova Scotia

YWCA Halifax: One of 32 YWCA locations in Canada that offer services to women with a focus on “[promoting] the leadership, health, and wellness of women and girls; [advancing] women’s economic and housing security; [delivering] quality, accessible, developmental early learning + childcare and [working] to end violence against women and girls.”


Initiatives by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Programmes” that support all aspects of immigrant integration, from settlement information and orientation to language learning, skills development, and employment, are provided by the Association for New Canadians (St. John’s), a non-profit community-based organisation.


Initiatives by the government of Prince Edward Island

Immigrant & Refugee Services Association PEI Inc. (Charlottetown): A company that offers a wide range of services for newcomers to Canada, such as language classes and help finding work.


Initiatives by the government of New Brunswick

The goal of the non-profit Northwest Resource Centre for immigrants Inc. (Edmundston) is to “assist newcomers who come to the area in order to facilitate their social, economic, educational, and cultural integration.” In addition to networking and support services, they provide resources, learning, and mentorship services.



Initiatives by the government of Yukon

Association franco-yukonnaise (Whitehorse): A French-speaking group that offers services for immigrant women, such as assistance in navigating everyday life and locating jobs.


Initiatives by the government of Nunavut

Carrefour Nunavut (Iqaluit) is a French-speaking organisation that helps job seekers, recent immigrants, employees, and business owners.


Initiatives by the government of Northwest Territories

NWT Literacy Council (Yellowknife): A not-for-profit and officially recognised charitable organisation “that promotes and supports literacy and essential skills in all the official languages of the NWT.”



Contact us to know if you qualify to migrate to Canada. Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn about finding employment in Canada, making your initial days stress-free, etc.

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