The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada

To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) released, The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada 2019 – The Gender Gap in Canada’s 26 Biggest Cities.  In this fifth edition, the mandate continues to look at gender equality trends in Canadian cities—as part of a larger agenda to advance women’s rights and well-being.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index ranked Canada in 30th place in 2015, and in 35th place in 2016. Canada turned this around by moving up the index to 16th place in 2017 and holding that position in 2018 — the direct result of a boost in women’s representation in the federal cabinet after the 2015 election.  Notably, two key women Ministers have recently resigned from the Federal Cabinet.

The CCPA’s Gender Gap Index was created in 2014 to ask if men and women in Canada’s 26 largest cities (i.e., with populations over 150,000) have relatively equal access to resources and opportunities fundamental to their well-being.  Although it does not capture or address unique complexities of rural/remote vs urban communities, or critical differences between women, such as Indigenous status, age or disability, that are vital to our understanding of women’s inequality and experience of discrimination, it can help mark the areas where more attention is needed from our leaders, our policy-makers and our communities.

The hope is that that this report will help continue local conversations across Canada about the disparities that persist on the economic front and in women’s representation in leadership.