Minister Monsef Highlights Ways Government is Strengthening Economy by Advancing Gender Equality

From: Status of Women Canada

January 25, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario – Department for Women and Gender Equality

Canada needs more thriving and successful women participating in our economy to lead its growth. To achieve this, the government is removing barriers that have long held women back – and consequently, held our economy back.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, spoke at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, to highlight the steps the government is taking to grow the middle class and strengthen the economy by advancing gender equality. They include:

  • Passing legislation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value;
  • Promoting women-led businesses thorough the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy;
  • Supporting families by investing in high-quality affordable childcare, strengthening the Canada Child Benefit, introducing more flexible parental leave options, and creating a new Shared Parenting Benefit to encourage a more equitable distribution of childcare within the home; and
  • Creating safer communities by passing legislation to end harassment and sexual violence in the workplace, and bringing in measures to prevent and address gender-based violence at home, on post-secondary campuses, and in our communities.

Canadian women are among the world’s most educated. Over the last 40 years, greater participation of women in the workforce has accounted for about one-third of Canada’s economic growth. Canada could add $150 billion to its economy in less than a decade by taking steps towards greater gender equality in the workforce.

“There is no question that advancing gender equality is the right thing to do, but it is also the smart thing to do. When women work, our economy grows and all Canadians benefit. Evidence shows that it can be the solution to reducing labour shortages, making better corporate decisions, and creating stronger bottom lines. That is why we are working to finally and completely remove the burdens that have held women back, so that we can grow our middle class, and strengthen the economy for everyone.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.

Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Quick facts

  • Women face a number of challenges to their full economic participation, including the gender wage gap, pay inequity in the workplace, difficulty in accessing non-traditional occupations, disproportionate family responsibilities and child care needs, gender-based violence, distance and resource issues faced by rural and Indigenous women, and many others.

  • Women currently make just 88.5 percent of what men earn for the same job.

  • They currently own fewer than 16 percent of Canadian businesses.

  • Less than five percent of CEOs in Canada are women and they hold fewer than 23 percent of board positions in our wealthiest companies.

  • Women are more much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76% of all part-time workers, with 25% of women reporting childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.

  • One in two Canadian women have experienced harassment in the workplace.

  • It is estimated that intimate partner violence and sexual violence cost the Canadian economy $12.2 billion annually.

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