Toronto CEDAW for Change 2019

“CEDAW for Change” Institute – Toronto, June 17 – 22, 2019

Now accepting applications!

This week-long dynamic educational program, held on the campus of the University of Toronto, will focus on understanding and utilizing the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other mechanisms of the women’s human rights system as tools for activism, feminist analysis and women’s human rights movement-building.   Participants will develop a deep understanding of CEDAW as a tool, and as a visionary framework for the promotion of substantive equality for all women.  Take advantage of this unique opportunity to co-learn with a diverse range of women’s human rights defenders!

Directed by Alda Facio

WHRI Co-founder, Costa Rican feminist jurist and activist, Special Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women (UN WGDAW)


Angela Lytle, WHRI ED

Additional facilitators TBA

Apply Now

2019 Program Information

Toronto CEDAW for Change 2019 program fee: $1200 USD.

Program fees only cover the cost of participation in the program.  Purchasing personal travel medical insurance for non-residents of Canada will be additional, plus your variable travel & visa expenses, booking your accommodations for Toronto, and covering your meals and incidental expenses.  See below for information about discounts and scholarship possibilities.

Please allow a minimum budget of CAD$50-60/day for duration of stay in Toronto to cover your meals and incidentals.  The University of Toronto is centrally located so transportation costs will be minimal if you stay on campus.  Classes will be held at the University of Toronto Law school, in partnership with the International Human Rights Program.

Application Process

To be considered for the program, you must first submit an online application.  Once your application has been reviewed, we will be in touch.  If you have reasonable grounds to request a discount or scholarship, please see the details below.

Payment Deadlines

Once you have received an acceptance to the program of your choice, you must pay a deposit to guarantee your space in the program, as space is limited.  We recommend submitting payment immediately upon acceptance to avoid disappointment.  Payment deadlines and amounts are as follows:

By March 15:  $300 USD deposit due to guarantee space in the course.  Deposit refundable minus $150 USD administration fee and reverse wire transfer costs before April 1st.  Note that the program may fill up before March 1, you are advised to pay your deposit immediately.

By May 1:  Balance of tuition due

Scholarship Information

Please note that a limited number of partial or full tuition scholarships will be available for applicants from the Global South who are able to secure their own funds for travel and other related costs.  At this time, we do not have any funds to support travel or accommodations, so please only apply for a tuition discount if you are able to raise the other costs, or if your organization will support your attendance.

Scholarships will be made available on the basis of need, region of origin and area of work.  In particular, individuals identifying as and working on issues related to indigenous women’s human rights, LBT women’s rights, women’s rights and disability, young women’s human rights, the rights of women of African descent, will be prioritized.   Please note that generally, scholarships are mostly offered to persons identifying as women.  Scholarships are only offered to individuals working as women’s human rights defenders in some capacity.

Those awarded scholarships will be required to show proof of having obtained a visa and the financial support to attend the WHRI, or the scholarship will be given to the next person on the wait-list.

To request a full scholarship, check the requirements listed above.  You must then submit a statement of 600- 1000 words (in addition to the regular application) further outlining your interest in the program, your financial constraints, and explaining how you will impact others through your work after participating in the program, as well as 1-2 reference letters. If you identify as belonging to an under-represented community, you are welcome to articulate this.

Note:  You must be invited to apply for a scholarship.  Please let us know if you wish to apply in advance at

Scholarship Fulfillment Requirements

In addition to the application process, those awarded partial or full scholarships will be required to:

  • show proof of having obtained a visa and the financial support to attend their chosen program by the deadline of May 1st, or the scholarship will be given to the next person on the wait-list.  It is imperative that you organize your fundraising and visa in a timely manner.
  • Submit a brief report on how you have applied and shared your learning, six months after participating in the program.

We do our best each year to ensure that a certain number of partial tuition scholarships are available for applicants from the majority world and/or under-served populations, but the number of scholarships and discounts available seldom meets the quantity of requests.  Our experience has been that the most successful fundraising comes from applicants who approach their existing funders. We are happy to provide you with documents that will help you in your own fundraising.

For local applicants in financial need, or those from countries outside of the Global South, contact us directly to discuss a limited number of discount, payment plan and work exchange options. Discounts are also available for full-time students.  See below.


CEDAW for Change Institute Discounted rate: Unwaged participants, full-time students and staff of women’s organizations with an annual budget of less than USD $80,000 are automatically eligible for the discounted tuition rate. For the 2019 Toronto CEDAW for Change Institute the discounted rate is $800 USD.

Requests for discounts will be considered on a case by case basis, but please bear in mind that fees are charged in order to help us cover expenses and support the sustainability of this program.  We do our best to make it accessible.

Discounts may be available for multiple participants from the same/affiliated organizations—inquire by email if this applies to you.

Important: Please apply even if you have not yet raised funds. We urge you to include attending the WHRI in your annual funding budget for your organization, and/or to start applying for funds well in advance of the institute.  If you are able to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to attend the institute, you are much more likely to have a successful visa application as well.

Fundraising Tips

If you need some ideas on where to start seeking funds, you can download below:

  1. A document created by AWID in entitled “Scholarships in Development and Human Rights”, will provide you with general information on where to start and how to go about applying for funds – AWID Funding Ideas
  2. A list of potential funders whose programs are more relevant to the Women’s Human Rights Education Institute. – Additional Funding Sources
  3. You can strengthen your discount/scholarship request by providing us one or two letters of reference.

Please note: Past applicants’ experience with many of these funders has been that they only fund people working within organizations, not independent individuals, and they often only give funds to their current funding recipients. Thus, we suggest you approach your own funder(s) and think creatively for fundraising—you may have success in finding local patrons to support you. We are happy to provide documentation to assist you in your fundraising.

Visa Information

Toronto June 2019 Program

Please be aware that a visa for Canada may be required. Participant visa processes take at least one – two months, or even longer, and require much supporting documentation. In the past, visa delays have forced some participants to arrive late and have caused others to miss the Institute altogether. PLEASE APPLY FOR YOUR VISA EARLY.

See Canada Citizenship Immigration website for additional information, including a list of countries requiring visas for travel to Canada.  Even if you don’t require a visa, you may be required to seek authorization to enter Canada in advance online.  Check the information carefully.

Once we accept your application, we will provide you with a visa support letter, but you must find out from your local consulate or embassy what documents and procedure are required—it may require you to gather many documents on your end. Here is some basic information, but be sure to check locally as well:

You must have a valid passport

  • Two recent passport photos are usually required. Make sure these photos meet the requirements as outlined on the website.
  • Enclose the application fee. Your fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted. You cannot appeal a refusal.
  • You must provide proof that you have enough money for your visit abroad. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the visa office in your country or region.
  • You will need to include other documents. These documents could be: identification cards, proof of employment, a letter of invitation from your hosts, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.
  • Other information related to your ties to your home country, such as marital status, children if any, family ties, property ownership, can be helpful
  • If you have traveled abroad previously, please include information on past visas as demonstrating travel history can be helpful to your application

Please note that the cost of tuition does not include accommodation or travel costs, and accommodations must be arranged and paid separately by participants. We regret that we are unable to make bookings on your behalf.

Accommodation Suggestions for Toronto, Canada:


University of Toronto student residences are available for short-term stays during the summer, and may be the most economical and convenient choice. The residences are within walking distance to where the institute is held, and thus will also cut down on daily transportation costs. You can arrange a booking directly with the residence of your choice. Costs range depending on the residence and duration of stay.

General info on residences at University of Toronto can be found here:

Classes will be held onsite at the University of Toronto law school:  78 Queen’s Park Cres. Toronto, ON M5S 2C5

We recommend:  One of the least expensive options in walking distance is to stay at one of the University of Toronto dormitories or guest lodgings.  Pricing and availability varies, please review various options here: 

A good inexpensive option which fills up early:

New College residence ( offers rooms with shared kitchen area for about $50/night for short term stays.

If you wish to contact them to reserve a room you can email at or phone them at (1) 416-946-0529. Please confirm the rate as it may fluctuate slightly from summer to summer.


If you are interested in a hotel or guest house, these choices are within walking distance of the OISE building where sessions will be held:

  1. a) College Hostel,280 Augusta Avenue (Kensington Market) Tel. 416-929-4777

A backpacker style hostel located within walking distance (15 min) of the University. Located in the eclectic Kensington market neighbourhood. Single occupancy approx: $66/day or $325/week; Dorm-style shared room, simple with no real amenities: $22/day or $140/week

AIR BNB: You may also find suitable accommodation by renting rooms through the popular website