Gender Equality

But wait... gender equality already exists, doesn’t it?

Equality between women and men is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Government of Canada is committed to upholding gender equality in all sectors of Canadian society. We have made great strides in many areas, such as education and workforce participation.

Nevertheless, challenges remain:

Too few women are advancing into leadership roles.

  • Women make up just 21.6% of Financial Post 500* board members. Footnote i

    *The Financial Post’s ranking of Canada’s largest companies by revenue.

Women are under-represented in politics.

  • 26% of those elected to the 42nd Parliament are women. Footnote ii
  • In 2015, women made up 28% of municipal councillors and only 18% of mayors.Footnote iii

Women continue to spend more time on caregiving and housework.

  • In 2012, 54% of all caregivers were women.
  • Women were more likely than men (17% compared to 11%) to spend 20 or more hours per week on caregiving. Footnote iv
  • Women were significantly more likely than men to perform household work (59% vs 41%). Footnote v

Women in the workforce tend to earn less than men.

  • In 2015, the median total annual income for men was significantly higher than for women ($40,900 vs. $28,410). Footnote vi
  • When comparing hourly wages of women and men in 2017, women earned an average of 87 cents for every dollar earned by men, suggesting a gap of 13%. Footnote vii

Women continue to experience high rates of gender-based violence.

  • Women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into account. Footnote viii
  • Women account for 88% of victims of sexual offences and 76% of victims of criminal harassment. Footnote ix

Some groups are at particular risk for gender-based violence.

  • Aboriginal women (10%) were about three times as likely to report being a victim of spousal violence as non-Aboriginal women (3%). Footnote x

How do we change this?

  • It starts with changing attitudes and behaviours.
  • It starts by recognizing that the gender stereotypes and subtle sexism we encounter every day are part of the problem.
  • It starts by challenging the sexism and discrimination that allow gender inequality to exist.
Date modified: