Gender Equality Week (September 22 to 28, 2019)



Canada is celebrating the first ever Gender Equality Week from September 23 to 29, 2018!

The theme for Gender Equality Week is ‘’Gender equality benefits everyone’’, inspired by the vision of a gender equal society and the benefits of advancing gender equality to women, men and people of all gender identities. When we make progress towards gender equality, #EveryoneBenefits!

Gender Equality Week is the result of Bill C-309, the Gender Equality Week Act, which received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. This legislation designates the fourth week in September as Gender Equality Week.

This week is an opportunity for people from coast to coast to celebrate the progress Canada has made in advancing gender equality, while reflecting on the work that remains to make sure that everyone – regardless of their gender – can reach their full potential.

Throughout the week, show your support with the hashtag #EveryoneBenefits and tell us why gender equality is important to you.

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Advancing gender equality leads to countless benefits for women, men and people of all gender identities. Some of the ways that gender equality creates a better world – for all of us are:


Fairness, equality and justice are the foundation of human rights. From the early suffragists to the activists of the #MeToo movement, the idea that gender equality is first and foremost the right thing to do has inspired and galvanized advocates around the world.

Economic prosperity

Gender equality is not only the right thing to do – it’s also the smart thing to do. Advancing gender equality will help create a thriving, prosperous country for everyone. By supporting women in business, in leadership roles and in non-traditional sectors, Canada’s economic potential can be unlocked.

Health and happiness

Equality is the foundation from which everyone can all 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.

Peace and security

Gender equality has the power to create a more peaceful world. Involving women in the decision-making process – from peace operations to responses to climate change – helps achieve long-term, sustainable peace.

Limitless possibilities

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 are removed to create a world of infinite possibilities.


Advancing gender equality is one of the Government’s most important priorities. From appointing the first gender-balanced federal Cabinet to unparalleled investments in women and girls, Canada continues to make progress to advance gender equality in Canada and around the world. This ongoing commitment is upheld through important initiatives in a number of areas.

Economic prosperity

When women succeed, Canada’s economy thrives. That’s why the Government is:

  • Increasing the number of women in STEM, the skilled trades, and other well-paying fields;
  • Investing in women-led businesses to provide women entrepreneurs with access to financing, talent, networks and expertise;
  • Launching a new parental sharing benefit to support a more equitable distribution of child care within the home;
  • Taking action to address the gender wage gap through pay transparency measures in the federally regulated sector and moving forward with a proactive pay equity regime;
  • Including a gender statement in the federal budget to examine the gender impact of budget measures;
  • Strengthening the Canada Child Benefit so that it continues to help families that need it most and supporting affordable child care across Canada; and
  • Investing $40 billion on a National Housing Strategy to help reduce homelessness and improve housing for Canadians in need, with at least 25% supporting women, girls and their families.

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence continues to be a significant – and preventable – barrier to gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

  • Passing legislation to ensure that federally regulated workplaces, including Parliament Hill, are free from harassment and sexual violence;
  • Investing nearly $200 million in the first-ever Federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence to improve prevention efforts, support survivors and their families, and promote responsive legal and justice systems;
  • Extending the independent national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls;
  • Investing in Canada’s network of shelters and transition homes to help ensure that those fleeing domestic violence have a place to turn; and
  • Launching the first national gender-based violence survey to collect information on safety in public and private spaces, at work, or online and collect data on intimate partner violence.


The Government is committed to advancing gender equality for people of all genders. That’s why the Government is:

  • Appointing a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGTBQ2 issues and a Secretariat in the Privy Council Office to coordinate the government approach to LGBTQ2 issues;
  • Changing gender designation in Canadian passports to support LGBTQ2 rights and permit people who do not identify as female or male to acquire passports that better reflect their gender identity;
  • Enshrining gender identity as a protected right under the Canadian Human Rights Act and amending the Criminal Code to include violence motivated by gender identity as a form of hate crime through Bill C-16, which received Royal Assent in June 2017; and
  • Becoming the co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition, the first inter-governmental network to promote and protect human rights of LGBTQ2 people around the world.


Canada is proud to be recognized as a world leader in advancing gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

  • Participating in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), where we help shape the work being done to advance the rights of women and girls around the world;
  • Making the issue of gender equality front-and-centre in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
  • Launching Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy to respond to the needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries;
  • Investing in organizations supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of Canada’s comprehensive $650-million approach to closing existing gaps in reproductive rights and health care services for women;
  • Investing nearly $3.8 billion to support quality education for women and girls living in crisis, conflict-affected and fragile states and expand training and education programs for women and girls in STEM;
  • Supporting peace operations to help protect vulnerable groups such as women and children; and
  • Creating the Gender Equality Advisory Council for our G7 presidency to ensure gender equality and gender-based analysis are integrated throughout the summit and our presidency.


When women are underrepresented in leadership roles, their ideas, talents and expertise are missed out. That’s why the Government is:

  • Putting into place a new merit-based, open, and transparent approach to selecting high-quality candidates for approximately 4,000 Governor in Council and Ministerial appointments on commissions, boards, Crown corporations, agencies, and tribunals across the country.
  • Modifying the corporate governance laws to support the increase of women’s participation on corporate boards and in senior management positions.
  • Appointing women to key leadership positions such as Government House Leader, RCMP Commissioner, Commandant of NATO Defense College and Judge Advocate General.
  • Creating an Indigenous Women’s Circle (advisory forum) to discuss ways of addressing systemic inequalities that disproportionately impact Indigenous women and girls.
  • Investing $100 million over five years in Status of Women Canada to fund projects to promote women in leadership, end violence against women and girls, and improve women’s economic security and prosperity.
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