In Canada, the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women, created in 2004, is mandated to oversee Status of Women Canada – the lead national mechanism at the federal level. This Committee focuses on analysing a range of issues of importance to women, scrutinising government decisions and policy advocacy. In addition, the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts regularly requires departments and agencies to report on how gender analysis informs their decision making. The involvement of the Office of the Auditor General in overseeing the commitment of the Canadian federal government to gender mainstreaming has proven particularly useful. In 2009, Canada’s Office of the Auditor General examined 68 programmes, policy initiatives and acts of legislation across seven federal departments to ascertain the integration of gender analysis into policy making. The findings resulted in a series of recommendations around the role of central agencies in co-ordinating gender impact assessments for proposals submitted for Cabinet approval.
The Fall 2015 Report of the Auditor General of Canada, “Implementing Gender-based Analysis,” released in February 2016, pointed to the need to do more to fully implement GBA (Gender-based analysis) as a rigorous practice across government. It recommended that Status of Women Canada (SWC), the Privy Council Office (PCO) and the Treasury Board of Canada Treasury Board Secretariat work with all federal departments and agencies to identify the barriers to implementing GBA and to periodically assess and report on progress. It further recommended that SWC assess the resources it needs to deliver on its GBA mandate. Canada's Gender Based Analysis Action Plan 2016-2020 was developed as a response to the Auditor General's recommendations on implementing GBA and it includes very specific actions that should enable the expansion of GBA tools across government.