When it comes to living in our home and native land, I’d think most women would say we’re quite happy as a whole. But as it turns out, quality of life for Canadian women can differ drastically from coast to coast.
According to a new report, Victoria, Gatineau and Quebec City are the best cities to be a woman in Canada. Out of the 25 on the list, Calgary, Edmonton and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo ranked the lowest.
The survey, which was released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, measured gender gaps in five different areas: economic security, leadership, health, education and personal security. According to researchers, the purpose of the report is to help make sure that women’s rights continue to be a priority in Canada and to highlight some of the major changes that still need to take place in order to eliminate gender inequality.
“The reality is Canada has a gender gap. When it comes to pay, jobs and safety, men and women still don’t get equal treatment in Canada,” said researcher Kate McInturff. “We need to take stock of the gaps so we can close them.”
McInurff says Quebec cities tend to do much better because of the numerous policies and programs in place that help women balance work and family life. Some of that includes Quebec’s affordable and high quality daycare and better pay for parental leave.
Cities with higher rates of public sector jobs also tend to do well because of their commitment to promote women, a reason why cities like Victoria and Gatineau topped the list. Unsurprisingly, cities like Calgary and Edmonton, which rely heavily on male dominated industries like construction and oil, found themselves last on the list because of their tendencies to have wider pay and employment gaps.
Another major note highlighted in the report are the rates of domestic abuse in the country, which have remained high for a number of years now. In the last five years alone, over one million Canadian women have reported a case of assault or domestic abuse. Those rates tend to be higher in the North West Territories, Nunavut and parts of the Prairies, while the lowest rates were found in Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Here are some other interesting facts reported from the survey:
- Women from the city of Oshawa are more likely to have a college degree
- Women in Gatineau earn 87 cents for every dollar a man earns, making it the lowest gender pay gap in the country. In contrast, women in Edmonton only earn 59 cents for every male dollar.
- Victoria is the only city on the list where women outnumber men on city council, compared to a city like St. John which has zero female council members
Now, find out where your city ranks on the list:
3. Quebec City
15. St. John’s
16. St. Catharines-Niagara