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Women and gender equity strategy

Women and Gender Equity

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What is it?

The City is developing a Women and Gender Equity Strategy so that everyone, regardless of their gender, age, abilities, religion, race or income, can fully take part in all aspects of life in Ottawa.

The strategy is due early 2020. It will show how the City will work to close the gender gap to ensure that everyone feels safe and can thrive in their communities and work places.

Our goal

Gender equity means acknowledging everyone’s unique needs, experience and reality. It ensures all people: men, women and gender diverse persons, have equal access to rights and opportunities.

For the City, the goal is to ensure all residents receive services in an equitable and barrier-free way when interacting with their municipal government.

Engagement

Engagement with community groups, residents and partners played a major role in shaping the priorities of the strategy. From August 2019 to January 2020:

  • 70+ community members and 50 City staff engaged in discussions
  • 170 community members engaged in a public engagement forum
  • 150 community members contributed through the Engage Ottawa online platform
  • 150 + community members participated in a 2SLGBTQ+ public forum held in partnership with Wisdom2Action

The WGES Public Engagement Findings Report [ 544 KB ] summarizes what we heard during the public consultations.

The Ottawa 2SLGBTQ+ Service Needs, Gaps and Recommendations Report [ 2.97 KB ] summarizes what we heard during engagement with the diverse 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Ottawa in partnership with Wisdom2Action.

Watch our video

Want to learn more about the City’s Women and Gender Equity Strategy? Check out our video.

Contact us

For more information, email womengenderequity@ottawa.ca.

Video transcript for 'Women and Gender Equity Strategy' video

The City is developing a Women and Gender Equity Strategy so that everyone, regardless of their gender, age, abilities, religion, race or income, can fully participate in all aspects of life in Ottawa.

The gender gap affects everyone in society, and closing it benefits everyone too.

Healthy, educated, safe and well-employed women, men and gender diverse persons contribute to thriving, diverse and safe communities and workplaces.

While society is working to remove barriers and respect the freedom and diversity of all people, women and gender diverse persons have not yet achieved equity or equality.

Gender is an internal, deeply felt sense of being a man or woman, both or neither.

A person’s gender may or may not align with the gender traditionally associated with their sex.

Assuming someone’s gender based on their sex narrows their freedom to self-identify, and imposes expectations about what they can and cannot do.

Gender Equity means acknowledging everyone’s unique needs , experience and reality. It ensures that all people: men, women and gender diverse persons have equal access to rights and opportunities.

Some people think that women and men are already equal. But the reality is that, right now, women earn 87 cents to every dollar earned by men, occupy less than a quarter of board positions in Canada’s top 500 corporations, have more family responsibilities, are more likely to live in poverty and face a 20 per cent higher risk of violence than men.

Transgender and gender-fluid people face discrimination in accessing medical care, barriers to employment and social exclusion.

The reality is similarly bleak for racialized or Indigenous women and gender diverse persons or those who have a disability.

When men face inequities, it is often due to another part of their identity, such as their race, age or ability.

Women and gender diverse persons experience inequalities simply because they are women or gender diverse.

Some people think that women and men can’t be equal because they are different.

Gender stereotypes are harmful and limiting. They raise barriers that impede people from realizing their full potential.

And gender equality is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Some people think that gender equity only applies to women and is not relevant to men or gender diverse persons.But we all benefit from gender equity. Organizations that acknowledge and address gender equity have a higher return on investment, lower labour costs and turnover, higher job satisfaction and lower levels of absenteeism.

Gender equity means everyone can participate fully in Canadian life. It means everyone has access to equal opportunities in an inclusive, democratic society.

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure this right. Including men. Since men occupy most senior positions in companies and government, their leadership and ally ship is key to achieve equity and equality.

We must all stand together. We need your help to build our strategy so that all people can fully participate in all aspects of the municipality in Ottawa.

Your input ensures the strategy will reflect the needs of our diverse community.

Why does gender equity matter to you? What concerns you? What can the City do to achieve gender equity? Provide your feedback online at EngageOttawa.