Features, Living

Women In Canada

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By Lindsay Cooper Newly elected Justin Trudeau has made it clear that the equal treatment of women (and all minorities) will take precedence in the upcoming term. And after he unveiled his diverse cabinet, which included fifteen women, it looks as though the standing of Canadian women is on the rise. The upcoming developments in women’s standing in the country are just in time, too, with Canada falling eleven spots on the World Economic Forum’s gender ratings. The forum ranks women from 145 countries in categories from wages earned and the presence of female political figures to how safe they feel walking alone and the proportion of female mathematician graduates. Previously in 19th place, Canada fell to number 30 in 2015, mostly due to our wage gap. While Canada’s wage gap is shrinking, it is doing so at a much slower rate than other countries on the list, leaving Canadian women earning 19 per cent less than their male counterparts, while New Zealand’s women earn only 5.6 per cent less. Canada also falls short with amount of paid paternity leave offered. Canadian men are not entitled to any time full-paid paternity leave, a substantial 53 weeks fewer than Korean men. Despite Trudeau’s efforts towards a more balanced cabinet, Canada was also criticized for our lack of female politicians. The country still lags behind the UN goal of 30 per cent female political representatives with 26 per cent, due to the small number of women in the House of Commons. While government and workplace regulations have been failing to provide for Canadian women, women have been providing for themselves on an individual level. Canada ranks in second with 67 per cent of women between the ages of 25 and 32 having received some form of post secondary education, behind only Korea, with nearly 72 percent. With the trend pointing to a majority of Canadian women being highly educated in coming years, the future of the Canadian woman looks bright. Hopefully Trudeau’s work towards equality will be the dawn of this new age of Canadiana.

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