Victoria tops list for best cities for women in Canada
Economist attributes Victoria’s achievement to the high percentage of government jobs in the city
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Victoria tops the list of best Canadian city for women to live for the second year in a row due to the high ratio of government workers and public sector jobs in the city, according to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
Vancouver came in at ninth place while Montreal was sixth and Toronto was 11th. See the full list at the bottom of this story.
Researchers took measured five factors in each city to come up with the list – economic security, leadership, access to health, security against violence, and education.
Overall, Canada has a lot of work to do when it comes to reducing sexual harassment against women and allowing women to hold leadership roles both in the private and public sector.
Women have actually reversed the gender gap in education – women have higher levels of education than men – but that hasn’t translated into leadership roles, said Iglika Ivanova, senior economist at CCPA’s B.C. office.
“We find that women still are under represented in management and politics even though they are highly educated…and in the last year we’ve had high profile women in public life complaining about sexual harassment,” she said.
“These are things where we still have a long way to go.”
But Victoria stands out because women who live there are more likely to hold leadership positions. For instance, women hold 44 per cent of the elected government positions in Victoria’s city council, according to Ivanova.
“[Victoria] also has the smallest wage gap between men and women. We think this is because there is a lot of government employees there,” she said.
“Previous research from our organization has shown that in unionized public sector positions, the gender gap in wages is much lower than in the private sector.”
That means provincial capitals and Ottawa tend to do better in gender inequality surveys, said Ivanova.
A lack of economic wellbeing for women has real consequences, she said, pointing to the link between a gender wage gap and violence against women.
“They are related. For example not being able to support yourself as wage earners is why some women stay in violent relationship.”
Windsor came in last as the worst Canadian city for women in the CCPA report.
Best and worst cities for women in Canada
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
8. St. John’s
19. St. Catharines-Niagara