Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for


Ottawa Centre

Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for


Ottawa Centre

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Government Initiatives: Women

Women in the workforce have been one of the most powerful sources of economic growth in recent decades. Our government is firmly committed to gender equality and creating more opportunities for women and girls in all aspects of Canadian life.

Here is how our government is supporting women:

Education and Skills Development:
The skilled trades represent high quality, well-paid middle class jobs that are critical to our economic growth. There is a substantial gender gap in apprenticeship training (only 11 per cent of new registrants are women). This gap has led to women being underpaid and wrongly perceived as uninterested in the trades.

Budget 2018 includes:

  • $19.9 million over 5 years to encourage women representation in male-dominated Red Seal trades
  • Equal access to training and jobs for Indigenous women through the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program
  • $1.65 billion over three years in new financing for women entrepreneurs

 

Equality in the Workplace:
Women represent half of Canada’s population and their full and equal participation in our economy is essential. Removing systemic barriers supports economic growth, strengthens the middle class, and builds a society that gives everyone a real and fair chance at success.

Budget 2018 includes:

  • $1.2 billion over five years to introduce a new EI Parental Sharing Benefit

The proposed benefit will be available to eligible two-parent families, including adoptive and same-sex couples, to take at any point following the arrival of their child. Providing additional weeks of benefits will help encourage greater equality when it comes to child care, greater flexibility—particularly for mothers— to return to work sooner, and will also help lead to more equitable hiring practices, reducing conscious and unconscious discrimination by employers.

  • $3 million over five years to implement pay transparency

In Canada, women earn 31 per cent less than men. The reasons behind the gender wage gap are deep-rooted and complex. Requiring equal pay for work of equal value is an effective way to fix this gap.

  • $31.8 million over three years to help newcomer women in Canada get into and stay in the workforce
  • Designated child care spaces for members of Parliament who have young children

 

Leadership and Democratic Participation:
While there are more women in decision-making positions today, including entrepreneurs, senior managers, and political positions, women continue to face barriers to advancement in leadership roles.

Budget 2018 includes:

  • Help for women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
  • Publicly recognizing corporations that are committed to promoting women to senior management positions and boards of directors
  • More funding for the Women’s Program to support increasing the capacity of equality-seeking organizations and reducing gender inequality in Canada

 

Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Access to Justice
Nearly one-third of women in Canada have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work, yet most do not report it due to fear of retaliation or lack of confidence that their complaint will be taken seriously. Real action on the part of employers, our government and the actors is necessary to ensure the next generation does not face these same challenges.

Budget 2018 includes:

  • Expanding Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence
  • Protecting federally regulated employees from harassment and violence in the workplace and providing support to victims of family violence
  • Expanding the unified family courts systems to enhance access
  • Increasing capacity for the RCMP to address unfounded sexual assault cases
  • Developing a harmonized national framework to ensure consistent, comprehensive and sustainable approaches to address gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions across the country

 

Advancing Gender Equality Around the World:
Millions of people around the world continue to struggle in the face of persistent poverty and equality – particularly women and girls. When women and girls are given equal opportunities to succeed, and where their rights and promoted and protected, they can be powerful agents of change.

Budget 2018 includes:

  • Innovative tools to deliver $1.5 billion over five years in international assistance to support Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
  • $10 million to expand the Business Women in International Trade program

This program connects women entrepreneurs with export opportunities trough international trade missions.

Happy International Women’s Day!