DAWN Canada

Support the full integration of Canadian women living with disabilities

DAWN Canada (Disabled Women’s Network of Canada) was created in 1985. That year, 17 women came together to talk about issues of mutual concern. To list just a few: at least 53% of all people with disabilities in Canada were women; the unemployment rate among women with disabilities could be as high as 75%; 58% of them lived on less than $10,000 per year, and 23% lived on less than $5,000 per year*. Issues like these prompted the aforementioned women to act. They created the only national organization specifically dedicated to fighting for the rights of women and girls with disabilities or who are Deaf in Canada.

For nearly 40 years, the mission of DAWN Canada has been to end the poverty, isolation, discrimination and violence experienced by women with disabilities and Deaf women. The organization also works towards their advancement and their full inclusion in our society. In a society that devalues, and even punishes, difference of any kind, women with disabilities face numerous obstacles. And Indigenous women, women from the LGBTQ2S+ community, elderly and racialized women face even greater hurdles.

In March of 2022, the organization published a document entitled “Rooting Resilience“. This guide brings forward key recommendations for the National Action Plan to end gender-based violence in Canada. The goal of DAWN Canada remains unchanged: to support women, girls and non-binary individuals with disabilities.

* Based on the 1991 Health and Activity Limitation Survey (HALS), which is considered problematic due to its definition of disability.

Images from DAWN Canada’s “Girls Without Barriers” report, illustrations by Kay Nau.

Visit DAWN Canada’s website