(Ottawa — March 8, 2018) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) marks International Women’s Day 2018 by celebrating recent strides made towards gender equity in Canada, and urging continued action against remaining barriers.
Last year, the federal government put in place hard targets for the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program, requiring universities to address the underrepresentation of women, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples and racialized people within the CRC program or lose funding
Additionally, Budget 2018 outlines major new initiatives that will help increase equity in the research community, including $15 million to implement programs that support improved equity and diversity in academia at post-secondary institutions and $6.7 million for Statistics Canada to create a new Center for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics, which will help monitor progress.
While we celebrate these achievements, more can and must be done.
Some 20 years ago, Canada was first on the United Nation’s Gender Inequality Index, yet today, we are ranked 18th, and the World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Gender Gap Report places us 16th.
There remains much work before true gender equality is achieved. CAUT maintains its call for the significant investment in a national child care program, and strengthening of the employment equity program in order to address inequality in the workplace, including in post-secondary institutions where women are underrepresented in senior positions and overrepresented in precarious contract positions.