Sunset Beach in North Saanich(picturepaints1000words / Instagram)

Once again, Victoria has been named the best city in Canada to be a woman, a recent study reveals.

The report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at differences between men’s and women’s access to economic and personal security, education, health and positions of leadership in Canada’s 25 biggest cities.

The study takes special note of those working hard to change their communities, but also finds that despite a government celebrated internationally for ambitious gender-based policy and budget analyses, the country has stalled in closing gender gaps.

“Our prime minister is setting a feminist agenda for his government. That means federal departments are starting to ask the right questions about how their policies and programs impact men and women differently,” says senior researcher Kate McInturff. “The next year will tell us if they are prepared to back that up with action and funding.”

Among the study’s findings:

  • Victoria ranked highest, but its wage gap has worsened slightly in recent years;
  • Hamilton climbed from 13th to 3rd spot, due to a narrowing employment gap, lower than-average poverty, and women’s access to leadership positions;
  • Cities with a strong public sector, like Victoria (1) and Gatineau (2), see narrower gaps in wages and employment;
  • Of Canada’s largest cities, Vancouver (5) scored highest, with Toronto (10) maintaining its middle of the pack status and Montreal falling from 6th to 15th place;
  • Sexual assault is the one violent crime not on the decline in Canada, and every city still struggles with high rates of sexual and domestic violence. StatsCan estimates only one in 20 sexual assaults are reported to police;
  • Edmonton (18) continues to have one of the largest wage gaps in Canada.

“The place that Victoria really knocks it out of the park is when it comes to electing women to political office,” McInturff explained. “They are one of the only cities in the report which has a female mayor.

“And they are also one of the only cities in the report that has more women than men on city council.”

The Complete Rankings:

1. Victoria

2. Gatineau

3. Hamilton

4. Kingston

5. Vancouver

6. Québec City

7. St. John’s

8. Sherbrooke

9. Halifax

10. Toronto

11. Ottawa

12. London

13. Kelowna

14. Abbotsford-Mission

15. Montréal

16. St. Catharines-Niagara

17. Winnipeg

18. Edmonton

19. Saskatoon

20. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

21. Regina

22. Calgary

23. Barrie

24. Oshawa

25. Windsor

The full report can be viewed here.

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