Gender Equality Week 2018
September 23 marks the first day of Gender Equality Week, which is all about recognizing the progress we’ve made in advancing gender equality in Canada, while reflecting on the work that remains to make sure everyone – regardless of their gender – can reach their full potential.
Gender Equality Week is the result of the Gender Equality Week Act, which received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. This legislation designates the fourth week of September each year as Gender Equality Week.
The theme this year is gender equality benefits everyone. It’s inspired by the vision of a gender-equal society and the benefits of advancing gender equality for women, men and people of all gender identities.
As explained by Status of Women Canada, some of these benefits include:
Fairness, equality and justice are the foundation of human rights. From early suffragists to #MeToo activists, the idea that gender equality is first and foremost the right thing to do has inspired and galvanized advocates around the world.
At the YWCA, we know that advancing gender equality will help create a thriving country for everyone. In fact, helping women – and single moms in particular – to achieve personal and economic independence is at the core of what we do. Our programs and services, from mentorship and employment, to affordable housing and child care, help women on their path to a prosperous future. By supporting women in business, in leadership roles and in non-traditional sectors, we can unlock Canada’s economic potential. Speaking of women in the workplace, did you know that half of women in executive roles report they value flexibility over salary and would change jobs to achieve a better balance? Work/life balance is another important element of economic prosperity, and is a key advocacy focus for the YWCA.
Health and happiness
Equality is the foundation from which everyone can lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. From eliminating discrimination and harmful stereotypes to preventing gender-based violence, advancing gender equality contributes to a higher quality of life for everyone. It’s embodied in the YWCA’s mission, too: to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.
Peace and security
Gender equality has the power to create a more peaceful world. Involving women in decision-making – from peace operations to responses to climate change – helps achieve long-term, sustainable peace.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, and gender equality helps create a world without limits. When steps are taken to advance gender equality, barriers, such as the widespread sexualization of women and girls, are removed to create a world of infinite possibilities.
This week, we’ll be highlighting some of the advocacy work that we do at the YWCA to address the root causes of inequality and advance gender equality – from issues such as universal childcare, to affordable housing, to stopping violence against women.