Creation of the Department for Women and Gender Equality
Statement by Minister Monsef on the Creation of the Department for Women and Gender Equality
December 13, 2018
Ottawa – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, today issued the following statement on the passage of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, which includes legislation to create the Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE):
“Today is an historic day for gender equality in Canada. With the passage of this legislation, our government is fulfilling key commitments to advance gender equality, address diversity and inclusion, and grow our economy.
“After 42 years of serving Canadian women, the small but mighty agency known as Status of Women Canada has become a full department under the law. The new Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) continues the work of advancing more equitable economic, political and social outcomes for Canadian women, and has an expanded mandate for gender equality that includes sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. WAGE will maintain and forge new connections to grassroots organizations advancing equality in Canada, while acting as a coordinating body for gender equality issues within the Government of Canada. Today, we celebrate this important milestone and honour the advocates, leaders and survivors whose hard work, hope and courage has made our great country even stronger.
“For far too long, Canadians have asked for proactive pay equity. Today, proactive pay equity in federally regulated workplaces is now the law of the land. Because when we value women and their work, and they receive equal pay for work of equal value, everyone benefits. Until last year, gender identity and gender expression were not explicitly protected grounds under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Now, people of all gender identities and expressions enjoy these protections. Canadians asked us to consider the diversity of our country and all people in our budgeting processes because government decisions affect Canadians differently depending on a variety of factors, including where they live, their official language of choice, or their gender identity. With the passing of this legislation, from this day forward, every federal budget will undergo a gender and diversity analysis. And as families start splitting work and childcare more equally, the new EI Parental Sharing Benefit will help the second parent share the responsibility of caring for a new child.
“Our government is deeply committed to enhancing gender equality. We agree with the research: equality drives economic growth. By 2022-23, we will have been provided with more than $350 million in new funding. This will enable WAGE to lead the Government’s efforts to integrate a gender and diversity lens in its policies and investments through the use of Gender-based Analysis Plus, including through research and data collection in support of the new Gender Equality Framework for a more inclusive future for all Canadians. Together, we have made significant progress. We know there is more work to do and we will be with Canadians every step of the way.”
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality
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