Five steps Trudeau can take now to improve equity for women

After a year in power, the Trudeau government has failed to translate feminist rhetoric into real change. It's beyond time to put words into action. Here are five steps the government must take by December to make a real difference in the lives of women and girls:

1. Vote Wednesday for the Gender Equity Act, to get an equal voice for women in Parliament

Canada ranks 60th in the world when it comes to gender parity in our Parliament—behind Kazakhstan, South Sudan and Iraq. Trudeau's government should vote Wednesday for our legislation that motivates political parties to run more female candidates, for a gender-balanced Parliament.

2. Expand the federal strategy to end violence against women

The federal government must work with women’s groups, Indigenous communities, and the provinces and territories to create a National action plan to end violence against women. This strategy must include education, social services, policing and the justice system, to make a real difference in women’s lives.

3. Legislate equal pay for work of equal value.

Canadian women earn only 74 cents for every dollar earned by men. We’re calling on the government to table pro-active, federal pay equity legislation by December. Women have waited 40 years, and shouldn’t wait longer.
Tell Ottawa you want to close the wage gap and ensure economic equality for women:

4. Ensure no woman or child in need is ever turned away from shelter

Hundreds of women and children fleeing domestic violence are turned away from shelters every day because there’s no room. That’s why New Democrats are pushing for more federal funding to support shelter operations.

5. Support free prescription birth control

The costs of family planning fall disproportionately to women, yet it's increasingly unaffordable. Trudeau should work with the provinces to ensure the full cost of prescription contraceptives is covered.