Vancouver’s city council unanimously approved Vancouver’s Gender Equality Strategy on January 17th, 2018. The strategy builds upon existing policies and initiatives and outlines additional steps to promote equality between women and men, and challenge gender discrimination.
In the words of Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Vancouver’s City Manager:
The Strategy builds on the foundational work started with the City’s 2005 Gender Equality plan and sheds light on many of the barriers which continue to limit the full participation and contributions of all self-identified women. The Strategy sets out specific goals and targets to address these barriers, recognizing that the full inclusion of all residents is fundamental to creating a city which is diverse, welcoming, vibrant, economically successful, and environmentally sustainable.
Leveraging and aligning with related City strategies such as Healthy City and Housing Vancouver, we will specifically take action to increase women’s safety and affordable housing, and address the impact of the childcare shortage on women’s economic participation. We will also lead by example within our own workforce by removing barriers for women and increasing the number of new hires in leadership and in historically under- represented occupations.
About Vancouver’s Gender Equality Strategy
Firstly, the City commits to applying the strategy using an intersectional approach. This ensures that all residents, including women, have equitable access, inclusion and participation in the life of the city.
Vancouver’s Gender Equality strategy was developed following extensive engagement with the City’s Women’s Advisory Committee and City staff. In addition, the group consulted public input, research, subject matter experts and other organizations, including municipalities.
Removing barriers to full inclusion for all women will require sustained and coordinated efforts. This also includes cooperation from all levels of government, community organizations, and individuals. Furthermore, the City aims to share and learn from others committed to women’s equity and influence change wherever possible. Above all, the aim is to make Vancouver a place where all women enjoy full inclusion in the political, economic, cultural and social life of the city.
Vancouver’s Gender Equality strategy deals with issues faced by women in five priority areas:
- Safety and violence against women
- Accessible quality childcare
- Safe and affordable housing
- Women’s leadership and representation
- Develop and implement an intersectional policy framework