4.10.1 Women’s equality

Women make up over 50% of Canada’s population, the majority of seniors, and a disproportionate share of the people living in poverty in Canada. Pay inequity is still the rule. Women earn, on average, only 87 cents for every dollar earned by a man (2015 stat); women within visual minorities and Aboriginal women earn even less. Lack of access to affordable housing, affordable post-secondary education, and affordable child care make the lives of women, who head the majority of single-parent households, much more difficult. Women under 30 earn less than women in that age group, when adjustments are made for inflation, than they did twenty years ago. Due to changes since the 2015 election in by-election gains, there are now more women than ever in our history in Parliament, but, by December 2017, it is still only 27.2%.

The Greens will vigorously defend every hard-won victory for women’s rights and for women to advance forward towards full equality in Canada. Women’s equality is fundamental to a just society. Among the best ways to break down barriers and advance opportunities for women are through poverty eradication, national affordable child care, programs to eliminate the financial barriers to post-secondary education, programs for affordable housing, and the adoption of a Genuine Progress Indicator that includes measures of unpaid and voluntary work by women (see Part 1: The Green Economy).

Green Party MPs will:

  • Oppose any possible government move to diminish the right of a woman to a safe, legal abortion. We fully support a woman’s right to choose. We will also expand programs in reproductive rights and education to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and expand supports for low-income mothers;

  • Pass pay equity legislation, as recommended by the Pay Equity Task Force; immediately implement full pay equity for women employed in the federal sector and develop tax incentives for companies to meet the highest standards of gender and pay equity;

  • Oppose the use of religious justice systems, such as Sharia Law, in Canada that run contrary to our existing rule of law and that specifically subjugate women and diminish the rights of women;

  • Establish specific job re-entry programs for women with children who want to restart their working lives either part-time or full-time;

  • Ensure that the criteria for new appointments to public boards and agencies include equal opportunity for women;

  • Support greater engagement of women in the political life of Canada by advocating that all political parties nominate, train, and support more women candidates;

  • Create better policies and programs to end violence against women;