Canada advocates for gender equality
The country is celebrating International Equal Pay Day.
Canada has launched its national Gender Equality Week. It opens with International Equal Pay Day, which is celebrated around the world on September 18. On this occasion, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a brief overview of the situation in the country.
Among the achievements, he cited average maternity benefits of about CA$ 10 per day for families in nearly half of the provinces and territories, record levels of women's participation in the labor market, and the approval of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. He also recalled the importance of Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, the government's way to work with local initiatives around the world.
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In addition to Trudeau, other major officials spoke out on the topic of gender inequality, including, of course, Canada's Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien. She also listed specific recent accomplishments:
- Funding for the Women's Program, which aims to improve the economic security of women and girls;
- implementation of the Federal Action Plan 2SLGBTQI;
- Combating gender-based violence through the Federal Strategy on Gender-Based Violence and the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.
Like Trudeau, Ien noted that despite the undeniable successes on the inequality front, Canada still has a long way to go. Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. said the same:
"For every dollar a man earns in Canada, a woman earns about 90 cents. For a woman of colour, that gap is even bigger. Not only do women earn less on average – they’re less likely to receive bonus pay. When they do, it’s more likely to be less than their male counterparts. If trends continue, it will take around 268 years to close the gender pay gap worldwide."
Canadian provincial governments did not ignore the start of Gender Equality Week either. For example, in British Columbia, Parliamentary Secretary Kelli Paddon reminded that in this region the wage gap between men and women is 17% — not in favor of the latter. And in Prince Edward Island, they emphasized another aspect of the problem and declared Sexual Assault Awareness Week. On September 21, Charlottetown will host the annual Take Back the Night march against sexual and gender-based violence.
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