More Canadian women than ever before have been graduating from university, joining professions and running for office. They have among the highest life expectancies in the world. Those who work are slightly more likely to have a university degree than male counterparts. However, despite progress achieved, women in Canada still experience significant barriers in fully accessing the economic, social and political resources, and as a result, they are more likely to live in poverty than men. Also, progress is not shared equally between different groups of women – barriers are greater for women who are Indigenous, racialized, living with disabilities, living in remote and Northern communities, and for transgender people.
Despite some gains over the last few years, women in Alberta face the largest employment gender gap of any province, are overrepresented in lower-paying and minimum-wage jobs, and experience poverty at a greater rate than men, especially if they are single parents or on their own. They do twice as much unpaid work as men, including child care. Women in Alberta are among the most educated women in Canada, but they make only 63% of what men earn. This wage gap is even wider for Indigenous women, women who are visible minorities, and women with disabilities.
Check out our infographic with key statistics about the status of women in Alberta:
For more information about women in Alberta and Canada, see:
- Government of Alberta, Alberta labour force profiles: women (Fact Sheets)
- Women in Alberta: Income and Paid Work [Government of Alberta Fact Sheet, 2018]
- Women in Alberta: Population [Government of Alberta Fact Sheet, 2018]
- Women in Alberta: Education [Government of Alberta Fact Sheet, 2018]
- Alberta Council of Women Shelters, Fact Sheets and Statistics [domestic violence]
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada 2019. The Gender Gap in Canada’s 26 Biggest Cities (2019)
- Katherine Scott, “Who’s missing: Data gaps undermine our efforts to track gender gaps and push for meaningful change.” (2019)
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Unfinished Business. A Parallel Report on Canada’s Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. (2019)
- Kate McInturff, “Women’s Poverty in Canada” (Keynote speech, 2015). [youtube link]
- Kathleen Lahey, The Alberta Disadvantage: Gender, Taxation, and Income Inequality. (2015)
In Alberta, child care is hard to access and unaffordable for most. More action is needed to ensure that every family that needs it can access quality care they can afford. Without universal access to affordable, high-quality early education and child care, women’s equality cannot be a reality.
Check out our infographic with key statistics about the state of child care in Alberta:
For more information on child care, check out some of the following sources:
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Developmental Milestones: Child care fees in Canada’s big cities 2018 (2019)
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Child Care Deserts in Canada (2018)
- Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Elements of a high quality early learning and child care system (2012)
- First 2000 Days Network: An Integrated Approach to Childhood Development (webpage)
- Public Interest Alberta, Alberta Child Care Survey (2019)
- TD Economics Special Report: Early Childhood Education Has Widespread and Long Lasting Benefits (2012)