December 7, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of this landmark report, which mandates the Canadian government to work towards creating a gender equal country.
Recommendations made by The Royal Commission addresses 8 main categories relating to women:
women in the economy
women in the family
taxation and childcare allowances
participation of women in public life
immigration and citizenship
criminal law and women offenders
For more information on this report and key figures involved, visit Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (cfc-swc.gc.ca).
Achievements We've Made
In celebration of the 50th anniversary, it's important to commemorate the advancements we've made thus far.
In the past - women faced many difficulties in the work force, including restrictions to employment of married women, differential treatment in the workplace and underrepresentation in higher education and leadership positions.
The 1876 Indian Act included a discriminatory clause against women, denying Indian women and the children of the marriage, Indian status if she marries a non-Indian man. However, non-Indian women and the children of the marriage were granted Indian status if she marries an Indian man.
Childcare was unaffordable and inaccessible
Today - we see improvements in employment inequalities relating to marriage, pregnancy, and pay equity. When it comes to the Canadian political environment, we can see gender parity in the cabinet. In the realm of education, women outnumber men in post-secondary institutions.
The discriminatory clause within the Indian Act affected Indian women for 116 years. It was finally amended in 1985 by the passage of Bill C-31 to be in accordance with s.15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.
We're Not Quite There Yet
Though we've made advancements towards gender equality as a nation, we're not quite there yet. We are still working on gender equality for all - making sure all women are represented, supported, and treated fairly.
The need for affordable and accessible childcare was one of the 167 recommendations made by The Royal Commission in 1970. Though Canada has been working towards this goal, notable change on the national level has yet to be seen. Thanks to COVID-19, the lack of accessible and affordable national childcare has been brought under the spotlight. The discrepancies in childcare administration and delivery throughout the country is more apparent than ever. Responsively, the Canadian government has pledged in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement to include national childcare as a priority in the spring 2021 budget.
S.U.C.C.E.S.S.'s Immigrant Women Entrepreneurship Program
The Immigrant Women Entrepreneurship Program (IWEP) marks another milestone in our journey to achieving gender equality.
Noting the service gaps in the women entrepreneurship ecosystem, the federal government has committed its efforts to advance women's economic empowerment through supporting them through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). To learn more, click here.
IWEP is funded by the Western Economic Diversification Canada, allowing us to provide FREE services to eligible women entrepreneurs. Check you eligibility here