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Women participate in the Women's March 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.
Sally T. Buck/Flickr
Girls & Women

Canada Will Not Achieve Gender Equality for Another 164 Years


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Gender-based discrimination prevents women and girls from unlocking their full potential. Global Goal 5 promotes gender equality by calling on countries to end discrimination and violence against women. Join us and take action on this issue here

Canada is on track to achieve full gender equality in 164 years, which is longer than expected, according to a 2019 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Titled “Unfinished Business,” the report examines how Canada has executed the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Plan for Action, which outlined numerous ways to enhance women’s rights on a global scale.

The report reveals that, even after 25 years, the country still has a long way to go. 

“We’re still really advocating for the same things,” the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) Jackie Neapole told Global News. 

For many of the key areas outlined in the Beijing Platform, progress has remained either relatively slow or stagnant, especially for women of colour, Indigenous women, and those living with disabilities. 

Domestic violence is still an ongoing problem for women in Canada. At least one woman in Canada will be murdered every 2.5 days, and 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives.

Womens-Equality-Canada-002.jpgWomen hold signs during the Women's March in Toronto in 2017.
Image: Ryan/Flickr

The report finds that half of all women who experience violence are women who have disabilities. Indigenous women are six times more likely to be murdered than their non-Indigenous counterparts, the report revealed.

Progress on gender equality has ultimately been a mixed bag, Andrea Gunraj, vice-president of public engagement for the Canadian Women’s Foundation told Global News. 

While the number of girls graduating from high school has increased from 85% to 95% within the last two decades, the percentage of women who have access to birth control and contraceptives has tapered off.

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Nearly 90% of women and girls have had access to family planning services since the 1990s, but no further progress has been made in providing access to the remaining 10%.

“I was disappointed to see overall how flat the curve was. We’d like to see those lines really going upward much more quickly,” Alison Holder, director of Equal Measures 2030, told Global News. “For Canada, it’s a fairly positive story, but there’s still lots more to do.”