Canada ninth in the world in gender equity, says watchdog organization

In terms of gender equity Canada is ranked ninth among 154 countries, far above its neighbour United States and below several European nations, New Zealand and a developing nation, Mongolia. However, her relatively good performance is not enough to narrow the gap between men and women to an acceptable level.

This is made apparent by the publication of the Gender Equity Index (GEI) 2012, elaborated by Social Watch, an international network of civil society organizations with members in over 70 countries in all regions.

The GEI prepared annually by Social Watch measures the gap between women and men in education the economy and political empowerment. The index is an average of the inequalities in the three dimensions. In literacy, it examines the gender gap in enrolment at all levels; economic participation computes the gaps in income and employment; empowerment measures the gaps in highly qualified jobs, parliament and senior executive positions.

The best and worst 15 countries in the GEI 2012

Social Watch measures the gap between women and men, not their wellbeing. Thus, a country in which young men and women have equal access to the university receives a value of 100 on this particular indicator. In the same fashion, a country in which boys and girls are equally barred from completing primary education would also be awarded a value of 100. This does not mean that the quality of education in both cases is the same. It just establishes that, in both cases girls are not less educated than boys.

With 80 points, Canada ranks among those countries with LOW GEI. Those with a better score reach the minimum of 81 that places them as countries with a MEDIUM GEI: Norway (89), Finland (88), Iceland, Sweden (both with 87), Denmark (84), New Zealand (82), Spain and Mongolia (both with 81).

The five levels according to which the GEI measures the gender gap are: CRITICAL, VERY LOW, LOW, MEDIUM AND ACCEPTABLE, It should be noted that no country has reached 90 points or more, meaning that no country has yet reached the ACCEPTABLE level.

Canada reaches an ACCEPTABLE level in education, while her performance in economic participation (100 and 83 points respectively) is less praiseworthy, 83 and 57, MEDIUM and VERY LOW respectively.

Out of the 154 countries computed by the 2012 GEI those five in the worst global situation are the Republic of Congo (29), Niger (26), Tchad (25), Yemen (24) and Afghanistan (15).

Social Watch members are spread across all regions. The network fights for the eradication of poverty and its causes, the elimination of all forms of discrimination and racism and to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and the realization of human rights.

For a detailed description of methodology and sources see