Our Story

You and Oxfam. Building a more equal world together.

Fight Inequality. Beat Poverty.

Oxfam Canada is an affiliate of the international Oxfam Confederation networked in 87 countries as part of a global movement for change.

Our 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. We work directly with communities, partners and women's rights organizations to challenge the systems that perpetuate inequality and keep people poor. Together we seek to influence those in power to ensure that women trapped in poverty have a say in the critical decisions that affect them, their families and entire communities. That’s why we believe that ending global poverty begins with women’s rights.

A dark-skinned, smiling woman leans back with her hands behind her head. She wears a long-sleeved, beige shirt and a brown bucket hat.
I am an empowered and employed woman, and very passionate about sharing and exploring ways to support other women, young widows and young generations who are currently being suppressed by the cultural and traditional expectations we’re subject to.
Ipaishe Farmer Zimbabwe

Why Women's Rights?

Have you ever wondered why it is that girls are left to fetch water and firewood as their brothers go to school; why women cleaning hotel rooms are subjected to sexual harassment; why women farmers growing the food we eat don’t have enough food for their own families; why women stitching the clothes we wear are working in hot, crowded garment factories earning poverty level wages with scant rights?

The reason is simple: discrimination and inequality.

It doesn't have to be this way. That's why we put women's rights at the core of everything we do - because in order to beat poverty, we need to fight inequality.

150 M
That's how many people in 34 developing countries could escape hunger if women had the same access as men to the assets they need for farming.
In most countries women own up to 30% less than men.
During peace talks women make up roughly 10% of negotiators.

The way we see it, poverty is solvable – a problem rooted in inequality. If we fight inequality, we will beat poverty.

Together, we can build a fairer world. A world where women and girls can exercise their rights as full, equal citizens, with real influence over the decisions that affect their lives. A world where everyone can stay safe in a crisis and recover from disaster. A world where future generations know no poverty at all.

We've Been in Canada since 1963

In 1942, a group of intellectuals, social activists, and Oxford academics formed the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief in response to the plight of refugees in Greece.

After the war, Oxfam (a name derived from its postal code abbreviation) continued its work, sending materials and financial aid to groups aiding poor people throughout Europe. As the situation in Europe improved, Oxfam’s attention shifted to the needs of people in developing countries.

Oxfam Canada was founded in 1963 and independently incorporated in 1966. The first Board of Directors included 21 distinguished Canadians. Oxfam Canada began to provide educational materials to schools and undertake advocacy work in public policy development and in 1995, it became an affiliate of the newly formed Oxfam Confederation.

We have been building our movement in Canada ever since.

Three Ways You Can Help

A group of mostly light-skinned people of varying genders and ages wearing winter jackets, hoodies, hat and down vests are gathered in protest of climate change. They are holding identical protest signs that read Climate Change Hunger in white letters on a multi-toned green striped background. There is a serious mood to the photo.


Stand up against the issues that keep people trapped in poverty.

A brown-skinned person whose hands are the only things that are visible in the photo holds a card with a picture of a goat on it that reads Remember when you said you wanted a goat? The person is standing at a white retail counter. Across the counter stands a light-skinned person whose torso and arms can only be seen. Behind them are shelves lined with various consumer products.


Shop for gifts with impact at Oxfam Unwrapped.

A large group of dark-skinned people of various genders and ages are gathering around a large, above ground, stone water source, filling large yellow jerry cans with water.


Give today and contribute to our fight for equality.

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