“We know that if we want to achieve true gender parity, where women are involved in the decisions that affect their lives, there is still much to be done. I am happy that this strategy is well placed to make progress in crucial areas that impact people on a daily basis. The collaborative approach and the actions laid out for future work will improve women’s equity in Vancouver."
Twenty-two years ago, the Canadian government made a commitment — every piece of legislation, and all new policies and programs, would be treated to what is called a “gender-based analysis.” This bureaucratic procedure, while arcane, was meant to do something momentous: bring the experience of women to the nerve-centre of political decision-making. A government that does gender-based analyses is a government with gender equality on the brain.
“Our first reflex was to say that (free trade agreements) are gender-neutral,” said the document. “But are the effects gender-neutral? We began to realize that not all are.” Only one in five exporting firms is led by a female entrepreneur, the document points out, along with research from the World Bank that showed a vast number of countries do not give women the same legal rights as they do men when it comes to doing business.
The foreign affairs minister denied that such an agenda was about political correctness or “virtue signaling.” Rather, she said that putting such a focus on foreign issues has practical impacts that bring changes on the ground. “It matters because where women, in all their diversity, are included in our collective security, everyone is safer,” she said.