Advancing gender equality

Gender equality exists when people of all genders – women, men, trans and gender diverse people – are equal in every sphere and can achieve their full potential in society. It affects and benefits people of all backgrounds in all their diversity.

In Canada, the foundation of gender equality can be found in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the right to equality is protected by federal gender equality laws.

Tools and indicators have been developed over the years to help assess systemic inequalities, such as the Gender-based Analysis Plus, and to measure progress on gender equality, such as the Gender Results Framework.

Benefits of gender equality

Advancing gender equality leads to countless benefits for women, men and gender diverse communities. Here are some of the ways that gender equality creates a better world, for all of us.


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. Now more than ever, as we see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, women and gender diverse communities – who have been more likely to experience unemployment and economic hardship during this unprecedented time – are more susceptible to poverty and food insecurity. The pandemic has also contributed to increased cases of some forms of gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV), based on data from service providers and police forces. Advancing gender equality will help create a thriving, prosperous country for everyone, and unlock Canada’s economic potential.

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 and gender diverse communities 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.

Recent accomplishments

Economic prosperity

Many women still face barriers to economic security and prosperity. Recent initiatives to support diverse communities in this area include:

Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence continues to be a significant and preventable barrier to gender equality. Recent actions to address this barrier include:


Advancing gender equality requires the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. Recent initiatives to advance gender equality include:

International relations

Canada is proud to be recognized as a world leader in advancing gender equality. Recent initiatives in this area include:

Intergovernmental relations

Intergovernmental relations are key to advancing gender equality across Canada. Women and Gender Equality Canada works with its counterparts in all provinces and territories through the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) Forum of Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women.

Leadership and democratic participation

Inclusive participation by diverse women, girls, and people from 2SLGBTQI+ communities is essential for promoting gender equality and diversity, and for improving the economic, social, and democratic lives of Canadians. Recent initiatives include:

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