Out of Canada’s 26 largest metropolitan areas, Victoria has been ranked the 3rd best city for gender equality, according to a recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The centre graded cities based on 5 categories, economic security, education, health, leadership, and personal security.
Ontario claims both the top spot and bottom ranking, with Kingston in 1st place and Barrie in 26th.
While Victoria ranked relatively high on the list, the CCPA says more must be done to address gender inequality in every city across Canada.
“The government has introduced proactive pay equity legislation, elevated Status of Women Canada to a full department, and launched Canada’s first feminist international assistance policy,” reads the CCPA report. “And yet, as this report shows, while we have been making measured progress, women are still waiting for meaningful change in communities across the country.”
“Years of effort to remove entrenched economic, cultural, and social barriers to women’s progress are not landing the results we all expected by now.”
Out of the 5 categories, the largest gender gap remains in Canadian leadership, where women hold fewer positions and face more obstacles in politics and management.
Victoria received some of the highest scores in the country for education and leadership, but suffered when it came to economic security and personal security.
According to the CCPA, Victoria has seen a rise in adults with post-secondary education. The number of men with university degrees increased to 33.1% since 2017, and the number of women with degrees grew to a whopping 41.4%.
The city also received high marks for leadership, as women hold 43% of elected office positions, nearly 10% more women than the national average of 34%.
One key area that the suffered in, however, was personal security. Out of the 26 major cities ranked, relatively small Victoria placed 17th as a safe place for women to live.
While the rates of intimate partner violence and criminal harassment were lower than larger cities, the rate of sexual assault was significantly higher.
“Victoria’s police-reported rate of sexual assault among women was 125.49 per 100,000 population, putting it in 24th place among large cities,” reads the report.
The complete ranking of gender equality in major Canadian cities is as follows: