Canada’s gender gap will close … in two centuries

Women in Canada are as healthy and educated as men, but gender equality plummets when it comes to economic and political opportunities, according to a new study, as reports the Tornoto Star.images-1

“Even though six of Canada’s provinces and territories have female premiers, women’s representation in politics and on corporate boards has grown by just 2.3 per cent in the past two decades, says the study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released Tuesday.

“At this rate, Canada will not close its gender gap for another 228 years,” said the report’s author Kate McInturff, “I won’t be alive to see it close and neither will my children or my grandchildren.”The study, based on methodology developed by the World Economic Forum, calculates the Canada’s overall performance in the areas of health, education, economics and politics since 1993.

“Canadian women are living longer and graduating from post-secondary education in greater numbers than men, the report notes. But once they graduate, “it all goes downhill,” McInturff said of women’s political and economic achievements.

“The “biggest drag” on Canada’s score is its glacial pace of change in political participation. The gender gap in Parliament has barely moved in 20 years, with women still accounting for just under one-quarter of the politicians elected to the House of Commons and provincial legislatures. Closing the gender gap in political representation would take 390 years at this rate, McInturff said.Leadership in the private sector lags even farther behind with women making up just 14.5 per cent of seats on corporate boards in Canada. Only one of Canada’s top 100 CEOs is a woman, the report notes. However, progress in economic participation and opportunity, including women’s wages and promotions to senior management, is moving relatively more quickly. Closing the gap in this area would take 70 years, the report found.”

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