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Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans

The office was established to contribute to advancing gender equality, diversity and inclusion for women and LGBTQ2 Veterans.

Who we are

The Office

The Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans was created by Veterans Affairs Canada in July 2019 to support these under-represented groups of Veterans. We work collaboratively with these communities and others to identify and address systemic barriers and inequities.

Our Mandate

We work within Veteran Affairs Canada and with Veterans and stakeholder groups to identify and address systemic issues specific to sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation of under-represented sub-groups within the Veteran population. We also seek to integrate Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) into the work of the Department and to advance gender equality, respect diversity, and promote inclusion for all Veteran by recognizing the different impacts of policies, programs and services based on gender identity and expression, biological sex, and/or sexual orientation, as well as intersecting identity factors, such as age, disability, indigeneity, race/ethnicity, religion, and language.

Our Vision

Working together towards the achievement of equitable access to programs and services that advance equality for all Veterans.

Purpose

By acting as a central coordination hub, we intend to:

  • influence research as well as policy and program development and implementation,
  • sensitize and prepare staff for the equitable delivery of gender-inclusive programs and services, and
  • to provide ongoing advice to advance equal outcomes for all Veterans.

As the GBA+ lead for the Veteran Affairs Canada, we will support the shared responsibility of implementing GBA+ across the Department to achieve these goals.


About gender and diversity

Sex
Sex is the various physical and biological characteristics (chromosomes, genitals, and hormones, etc.) that distinguish individuals as male, female or intersex.

Gender
Gender is a social and personal identity (male, female, two-spirit, non-binary, etc.) influenced by several factors, including biological features, cultural and behavioural norms and self-identity. Gender identity is diverse and fluid. Individuals might identify as female, male, a combination of feminine and masculine traits, or another gender.

Sexual Orientation
Several concepts can be used to measure sexual orientation. These include behavior (whether a person's partner or partners are of the same or the opposite sex) and identity (whether a person considers themselves to be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.)

Sexual and gender diversity
Sexual diversity includes sexual attraction, behaviour, identity and orientation while gender diversity refers to gender plurality. The term " sexual and gender diversity" is considered to be more inclusive than "LGBT" because it does not specify gender identity or sexual orientation.

Modernizing sex and gender information practices
In September 2018, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Department of Justice Canada presented a report to the Clerk of the Privy Council with recommendations on ways to modernize how the Government of Canada handles information on sex and gender. Read more about how the Government of Canada is modernizing sex and gender information practices.

Gender, diversity and inclusion statistics
Statistics Canada regularly publishes research that allows for comparisons between military and civilian populations.

In 2021, the National Census will directly ask Canadians “Has this person ever served in the Canadian military?” This more precise information will provide an accurate count and demographic information about the Veteran population.

Here are quick facts from Statistics Canada on gender, diversity and inclusion.

Gender and sexual diversity glossary
This Government of Canada glossary provides the English and French equivalents to 193 concepts on gender and sexual diversity.

Gender-inclusive writing
Gender-inclusive writing, which avoids references to gender whenever possible, is increasingly becoming standard practice in correspondence. Read the recommendations of the Government of Canada’s translation bureau on gender-inclusive writing.


LGBTQ2 resources

LGBTQ2 Veterans hotline
Did you serve in the Canadian Armed Forces or the RCMP? Are you also part of the LGBTQ2 community? Do you have a service-related injury and previously did not apply or were not aware of benefits for which you may have been entitled? Please contact VAC toll-free at 1-800-487-7797 for more information.

LGBTQ2 Secretariat
Information and resources related to the Government of Canada's work to improve equality for LGBTQ2 communities through the promotion of human rights and the development of inclusive federal policies, programs and laws.


Women Veterans Forum

The Women Veterans Forum was the first of its kind in Canada to discuss specific challenges women face in their lives after service. Held in Charlottetown in May 2019, the forum brought together Veterans, researchers, experts and organizational leaders.

Read a summary of the forum.

The second Women Veterans Forum was to be held during the spring of 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An in-person event may be planned when public health guidelines permit.


2020 Veterans Affairs Canada Virtual Series: Women Veterans Forum Update and LGBTQ2+ Roundtable

The Veterans Affairs Canada's virtual series: Women Veterans Forum Update and LGBTQ2+ Roundtable held in August and September 2020 included panel discussions with senior officials from Veterans Affairs Canada, the Department of Women and Gender Equality and the Canadian Armed Forces / Department of National Defence. Topics addressed included Women and LGBTQ2+ Veterans, Women Veterans Research and Data and Policy, Services and Program initiatives impacting Women Veterans.

The Roundtable discussion with Veterans and stakeholders from the LGBTQ2+ community sharing experiences and perspectives with senior officials from Veterans Affairs Canada was held on October 21.

The recordings of the three sessions and the Roundtable are available through the Veterans Affairs Canada website at Women and LGBTQ2+ Veteran Engagement.


Contact us

Have questions? Want to share your story? Email us at: vac.womenlgbtq2veterans-femmeslgbtq2veterans.acc@canada.ca.


Related information

Building communities

Research, funding opportunities, news and resources to stay informed and connected.

Your stories, your voice

Listen and read about Veterans like you, sharing their military and post-service experiences.

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