About Oxfam

About Oxfam

Oxfam Canada’s mission is to build lasting solutions to poverty and injustice with a focus on improving the lives and promoting the rights of women and girls.

About Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Canada is part of a global movement for change made up of 20 Oxfam affiliate organizations working in more than 90 countries to mobilize the power of people against poverty. 

Oxfam Canada combines emergency response, long-term development projects, and campaigning to tackle the root causes of poverty and inequality. 

Saving lives: When emergencies happen, Oxfam is among the first on the scene. With your help, we provide clean water, sanitation, and health care. We deliver aid, support, and protection to people who’ve lost everything, particularly women who are often the most at risk in emergencies and conflicts. And when the urgent, life-saving work is over, we stay to help communities rebuild their livelihoods while working to ensure that women’s rights are taken into account. Training people in skills like first aid, search and rescue, and evacuation techniques. We make sure that when disaster strikes, poor communities are ready. We put women at the centre of reconstruction, and in efforts to build resilience to future disasters.

Long-term development: Oxfam believes that the best people to help communities living in poverty are community members themselves. We work with local partners to come up with long-lasting, far-reaching solutions that enable people in poverty to provide for their families and communities in a sustainable way - because food security, safety, education and earning a decent living, are rights not privileges.

Campaigning for social justice: We live in a world where the gap between the rich and the rest continues to widen, and women bear the brunt - but we know that inequality is not inevitable. With your support, we press governments at home and around the world, to build an economy that works for all, not just the wealthy few. We hold them accountable for providing essential services like health care, and passing laws that ensure women are paid equally.

Ending Global Poverty Begins with Women's Rights

A NEW KIND OF FISHTALE: Imagine a woman is hungry. We give her a fish. This is our humanitarian or emergency work: we save lives. We offer immediate access to lifesaving resources like water, shelter, and food. After the crisis passes, we can teach the woman to fish. Now the woman can feed
her family and teach others. This is how we develop our programs to help people overcome poverty. But we haven’t addressed the root cause of why that woman didn’t know how to fish in the first place. So we start to look for answers. Maybe women aren’t taught to fish in her community? Maybe the lake is polluted by a nearby factory? We know people have the power to change their lives, and the lives of those around them. All they need is a little help.

THIS IS HOW OXFAM WORKS. Oxfam takes on the big issues that keep people poor, like inequality, discrimination and unequal access to resources including food, water and decent work. We hold the powerful accountable and we won’t stop until women’s rights are respected and everyone has an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.

We know that women and girls aren’t just the faces of poverty - they are also the key to overcoming it. Extreme poverty will never be eradicated until gender inequality is addressed. Oxfam Canada supports a global movement for change – and women are leading that change.

When women’s rights are respected, women are healthier, better educated and better paid. Children thrive and so do communities, creating lasting benefits for generations to come. 

Women  play a critical leadership role  in our partner organizations and communities that address the root causes of local poverty, address barriers to development, and help communities gain:
•    more secure and equitable incomes
•    greater access to clean and safe water 
•    access to healthcare and education
•    equal opportunities to participate in public life
•    equal freedom to make choices

Why Women's Rights?

The gap between rich and poor is widening – and gender is a main predictor for who will end up poor and who will end up with power.  We live in a rich world, yet:

  • More than 70% of people living on less than $1/day are women
  • 80 million children have no access to school – most of them girls
  • Each day 1,400 women die in pregnancy and childbirth
  • Young women are two to six times more at risk of HIV infection than the population as a whole
  • One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime, and at least one in three will experience physical, mental or sexual abuse. These high rates of violence hinder women’s access to education, ability to work, participation in public life, freedom to make choices, or to exercise sexual and reproductive rights
  • Around the world, on average, only 16% of elected politicians are women
  • Laws that promote gender equality are often not enforced

We mobilize people and resources in Canada and around the world to change policies, practices, attitudes and behaviours that create inequality and human suffering. We are committed to strengthening a global movement in support of human rights and gender justice on a healthy planet.

Working with Canadians, our partners and allies around the world, Oxfam Canada strives to empower individuals, communities and organizations to build a world without poverty where all human beings are valued and treated equally - a world where women and girls have control over their lives and enjoy their full human rights.