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Gender equality achievements

Advancing gender equality is one of the Government’s most important priorities.

From appointing the first gender-balanced federal Cabinet to unparalleled investments in women and girls, we continue to make progress to advance gender equality in Canada and around the world. This ongoing commitment is upheld through important initiatives in a number of areas. Discover the important achievements and milestones for gender equality in Canada.

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Economic prosperity

When women succeed, Canada’s economy thrives. That’s why the Government is:

Milestones for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

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Milestones for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) - Transcript
  • Providing girls and women with equal access to education ensures our future leaders reflect our diversity as Canadians.
  • In 2016, 33% of STEM graduates are women, but only 23% are working in this field.
  • When women lead in STEM, the ripple effect can be profound…
  • 2017 – Dr. Theresa Tam is appointed as Canada’s first woman Chief Public Health Officer. As a physician with expertise in immunization, infectious disease, and emergency preparedness, she is leading Canada’s COVID-19 public health response
  • 2017 – Mona Nemer becomes Canada’s first woman Chief Science Advisor. Born in Lebanon, as a young student, she advocated to expand her school’s curriculum so girls could study science at higher levels and went on to complete a PhD in chemistry at McGill University in 1982 [photo].
  • 2020 – Of the 14 chief medical officers and public health officers battling COVID-19 in Canada, seven are women.
  • We are making waves—increasing the number of women in these fields fuels change that improves the lives of people across the country.
  • #BecauseOfYou

Milestones on women’s economic participation and prosperity

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Milestones on women’s economic participation and prosperity - Transcript
  • Everyone – regardless of gender identity or expression – deserves to receive equal pay for work of equal value.
  • 2001 – The Canadian Human Rights Commission recommends employers examine their pay practises to ensure women and men receive equal pay for equal work – workers should not have to file a complaint before action is taken on pay equity.
  • From 2001 to 2004, the Bilson Task Force fuels progress in our pursuit of pay equity and recommends changes to the law and the role of unions so that we can not only achieve—but maintain—pay equity.
  • The rate of women participating in paid work increases by 12% in between 1995 and 2020.
  • The pay gap decreases by 6 cents between 1997 and 2019. Women earn 88 cents for every dollar earned by men.
  • 2018 – Parliament adopts the Pay Equity Act to ensure fair compensation of men and women in the federal public service and federally governed institutions.
  • 2019 – Karen Jensen is appointed as Canada’s first Pay Equity Commissioner [photo].
  • We have lessened the pay gap and are gaining momentum. Let’s continue to work for parity.
  • #BecauseOfYou

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Pay equity - Text version

Pay equity

Everyone – regardless of gender identity or expression – deserves to receive equal pay for work of equal value.

2001 - The Canadian Human Rights Commission recommends to Parliament that a proactive pay equity system be established so that employees proactively get equal pay, without needing to file a complaint to receive it.

2001-2004 - From 2001 to 2004, the Government of Canada appoints the Bilson Task Force to improve federal pay equity approach. 113 recommendations were made for a new proactive pay equity system.

2018 - Parliament adopts the Pay Equity Act to ensure fair compensation of men and women in the federal public service and federally governed institutions.

2019

  • Karen Jensen is appointed as Canadaʼs first Pay Equity Commissioner.
  • Women earn 88 cents for every dollar earned by men, a 6 cent increase since 1997.

We have lessened the pay gap and are gaining momentum. Letʼs continue to work for parity.

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence continues to be a significant and preventable barrier to gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

LGBTQ2

The Government is committed to advancing gender equality. That’s why the Government has:

Milestones on LGBTQ2 rights

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LGBTQ2 rights - Transcript
  • Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure, to live free from discrimination and persecution, and to express themselves fully, no matter who they love or how they identify.
  • 1996 – Sexual Orientation is added to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • 2005 – Same-sex marriage is legalized across Canada.
  • 2009 – The first Trans March in Canada is organized during Toronto Pride.
  • 2017 – Gender expression and gender identity are added to the Canadian Human Rights Act.
  • 2017 – The Government of Canada makes a formal apology for the historic purge of LGBTQ2 members from the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, and civil service.
  • 2019 – Gemma Hickey Becomes one of the first Canadians to receive a gender-neutral birth certificate and passport [photo].
  • Let’s celebrate all those who work to advance gender equality and continue to create a better and equal world for all.
  • #BecauseOfYou

Download in PDF format.

LGBTQ2 rights - Text version

LGBTQ2 rights

Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure, to live free from discrimination and persecution, and to express themselves fully, no matter who they love or how they identify.

1996 - Sexual orientation is added to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

2005 - Same-sex marriage is legalized across Canada.

2009 - The first Trans March in Canada is organized during Toronto Pride.

2017 - Gender expression and gender identity are added to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • The Government of Canada makes a formal apology for the historic purge of LGBTQ2 members from the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, and civil service.

2019 - Gemma Hickey becomes one of the first Canadians to receive a gender-neutral birth certificate and passport.

  • The Government of Canada announces support to help grassroots LGBTQ2 organizations grow.

Letʼs celebrate all those who work to advance gender equality and continue to create a better and equal world for all.

International

Canada is proud to be recognized as a world leader in advancing gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

Leadership

When women are underrepresented in leadership roles, we miss out on their ideas, talents and expertise. That’s why the Government is:

Milestones on women in leadership roles and democratic participation

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Political participation and leadership - Transcript
  • When more women and people from diverse gender communities take on leadership roles in politics and civic life, we create healthier and more inclusive communities that better reflect our diversity as Canadians.
  • Graphic depicting the increase of women elected to parliament from 1/5 in 1997 to 1/3 in 2019.
  • 1993 – Jean Augustine becomes the first African Canadian woman to be elected to Canada’s House of Commons and led the campaign to create Black History Month.
  • 1993 – Kim Campbell becomes the first woman to serve as Prime Minister of Canada.
  • Graphic depicting 1995 – an equal number of men and women are appointed to Cabinet for the first time.
  • Graphic depicting 2020 – Senate parity.
  • We have made so much progress—just imagine what we will achieve in the years to come as new trailblazers rise and advance gender equality in Canada.
  • #BecauseOfYou

Download in PDF format.

Political participation and leadership - Text version

Political participation and leadership

When more women and people from gender diverse communities take on leadership roles in politics and civic life, we create healthier and more inclusive communities that better reflect our diversity as Canadians.

1995 - Canada adopts the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action.

1997- One in five (1/5) people elected to Parliament are women.

2015 - Canada has its first ever gender-balanced Cabinet in history.

2019 - A record number of women run for Parliament, representing 42% of candidates.

2020 - One in three (1/3) people elected to Parliament are women.

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