Victoria [Scott James]

Sorry, Windsor:  Victoria has been voted as the best city to be a woman in Canada, while Windsor Ontario is rated dead last in a survey of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in The Great White North.

The study, done by senior researcher Kate McInturff of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, evaluated the access variations encountered by men and women in the areas of economic security, personal security, health, education and leadership positions.  McInturff’s findings indicate that the largest factor contributing to Victoria’s perch atop the list is the level of representation of women in the political arena; Victoria has a female mayor and is the sole city in the study with more women than men on its council, for the second consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Windsor’s poor showing is due to its lack of women in leadership roles, its bigger than average employment gap, and the high number of women living in poverty compared to men.

Other findings of the study include the fact that for the first time, women are more likely to be the victims of violence than men — a result of persistently high rates of sexual assault.

McInturff says the statistics in the study are “the beginning of the conversation, not the end,” noting that “there is much that cities have to learn from one another.”

On the positive side, some gaps appear to be closing.  Women in Canada now make up 48 per cent of the labor force, and they are as likely as men to have some form of post-secondary education.  The report also said the OECD projects that narrowing the gap between men’s and women’s employment in Canada could contribute an additional $160 billion or 8% in GDP by 2030.

“We live together, we work together and when we close these gaps, we all share in the benefit of more secure and more stable lives and communities,” McInturff said.

Love, Dr. Scott James
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