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In the House with Hajdu: Gender equality

Gender equality benefits all of us.
Patty Hajdu
MP Patty Hajdu (Leith Dunick,

Gender equality benefits all of us. In the last 40 years, more women in our workforce has accounted for around one-third of Canada`s GDP per capita growth. Increasing equality has driven economic growth and boosted family incomes across Canada, including right here in Northwestern Ontario, but we know many gaps remain. According to RBC Economics, if we can close those gaps and see men and women participate in our workforce equally, our GDP could be boosted as much as four per cent. Striving for gender equality isn’t just the right thing to do, it`s also the smart thing to do.

One of the ways we can ensure we`re on the path to equality is by Gender Budgeting. Last year we began with Gender-Based Analysis Plus to make sure our evidenced-based policy decisions benefit all Canadians. This year we`ve introduced the Gender Results Framework, a whole-of-government tool to track how we`re doing, help define what we need to continue working toward equality and determine how progress will be measured. We know that each person’s and community’s situation is unique. Budget 2018 takes an important step forward in supporting the research, analysis and resources to ensure our country is on the right track.

Budget 2018 sets a new standard in Canada, making gender budgeting a comprehensive and permanent approach to the budget-making process. This and future budgets under our government will rely on six pillars to increase gender equality in our country. They are:

1. Education and Skills Development

Equal opportunities and diversified paths in education and skills development

  • More diversified educational paths and career choices
  • Reduced ender gaps in reading and numeracy skills among youth, including Indigenous youth
  • Equal lifelong learning opportunities for adults

2. Economic Participation and Prosperity

Equal and full participation in the economy

  • Increased labour market opportunities for women, especially women in underrepresented groups
  • Reduced gender wage gap
  • Increased full-time employment of women
  • Equal sharing of parenting roles and family responsibilities
  • Better gender balance across occupations
  • More women in higher-quality jobs, such as permanent and well-paid jobs

3. Leadership and Democratic Participation

Gender equality in leadership roles and at all levels of decision-making

  • More women in senior management positions, and more diversity in senior leadership positions
  • Increased opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, and succeed on a global scale
  • More company board seats held by women, and more diversity on company boards
  • Greater representation of women and underrepresented groups in elected office and ministerial positions in national and sub-national governments
  • Increased representation of women and underrepresented groups in the judicial system

4. Gender Based Violence and Access to Justice

Eliminating gender-based violence and harassment, and promoting security of the person and access to justice

  • Workplaces are harassment free
  • Fewer women are victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault
  • Fewer victims of childhood maltreatment
  • Fewer women killed by an intimate partner
  • Increased police reporting of violent crimes
  • Fewer Indigenous women and girls are victims of violence
  • Increased accountability and responsiveness of the Canadian justice system

5. Poverty Reduction, Health and Well Being

Reduced poverty and improved health outcomes

  • Fewer vulnerable individuals living in poverty
  • Fewer women and children living in food-insecure households
  • Fewer vulnerable individuals lacking stable, safe and permanent housing
  • Child and spousal support orders enforced
  • More years in good health
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved access to contraception for young people and reduced adolescent birth rate

6. Gender Equality Around the World

Promoting gender equality to build a more peaceful, inclusive, rules-based and prosperous world

  • Feminist international approach to all policies and programs, including diplomacy, trade, security and development

We know that the budgeting process alone won’t solve the complex issues of gender inequality. But analyzing how our country’s spending benefits all Canadians is a big step forward to ensuring everyone in our country has their fair shot at success.

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