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Quebec ranked highest for women’s economic and personal security

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Gerster, Jane
Publication Date: 
23 Apr 2014



For the most equal wages and more female politicians, a new analysis suggests it's better to be a woman in Quebec City, not Edmonton.

But no matter where you live, the report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows when it comes to violence against women and female leadership opportunities Canada still has a long way to go.

"It's not enough to just work in one area," said the report's auth

The report ranks the largest 20 cities based on economic security, leadership, health, personal security and education.

Quebec comes out ahead with Quebec City, Montreal and Sherbrooke in the top 10, a fact McInturff attributes to the province's family-friendly policies, including cheaper daycare.
"It allows women and men to have equal levels of flexibility at work," she said.

Canada's big three cities - Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver - are all middle of the pack, while women in Alberta fare the worst; Calgary and Edmonton are ranked 17th and 20th respectively.
But McInturff says the positives - women in Quebec City earn an average of 78 per cent of what their male counterparts make, well above the national average - are accompanied by less heartening statistics.

Women in Regina report the most instances of intimate partner violence, while women in Winnipeg report the highest number of sexual assaults.

The issues aren't limited to those cities, McInturff said, and are hard to address with federal cuts to advocacy and research.

Kellie Leitch, minister for Status of Women Canada, declined to discuss the issues since she has yet to read the report.

Changing mindsets and increasing awareness is "extremely challenging," said Leigh Naturkach, manager of the violence prevention program at the Canadian Women's Foundation.

"We have made improvements," she said, "but those rates of sexual assault and intimate partner violence are still problematic."

National forums are integral to making change, McInturff said, otherwise "we lose the good news stories, we lose the insight and we lose track of where some of the gaps are."

-reprinted from the Toronto Star

Entered Date: 
23 Apr 2014
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