The best and worst cities to be a woman in Canada

Dec 19 2017, 2:28 am

Canada may have just been named the country with the best reputation in the world, but how do our cities stack up for women?


The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives placed Victoria at the top spot to be a woman out of 25 of the country’s most populous cities. Alberta didn’t fair well in this list, with Calgary coming in at number 23 and Edmonton taking the 24th spot.

The study looked at how both men and women faired in economic security, leadership, health, personal security, and education within each city. The report focuses on the gaps between men and women more than their overall well-being.

How Calgary ranks

So why did Calgary fair so poorly? Well, employment gaps are large, with 75% of men employed versus 66% of women. Wage gaps are also a problem – women in Calgary only earn 65 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Image: CCPA

Image: CCPA

With that said, Calgary has the most educated women in Canada, with 28% having completed post-secondary. It’s unclear why Calgary placed so low in education based on what the report says.

Women in Calgary only hold two of 15 elected positions on the city council. When it comes to promoting women to senior management, the city is second to last, with only 29% of women being promoted to higher level positions.

Sexual assault reports are below average, with 549 cases in the past year.


The ‘best’ city to be a woman in Canada

Victoria took the honour of being the best city in Canada to be a woman, ranking high in most of the categories, most notably where economic security and leadership were concerned.

Image: CCPA

Image: CCPA

The gap in employment is the smallest among all of the cities on the list, but it is possibly due to a higher unemployment rate for men than the national average. Poverty rates are higher than average, but Victoria is one of the few cities where it is greater for men than for women.

Victoria is the only city in Canada that has more elected female officials than male. Women hold five out of nine seats on city council and women in adjacent municipalities hold 45% of elected positions.

Rates of sexual assault and domestic violence were close to the national average based on police reports.

The ‘worst’ city to be a woman in Canada

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo ranks at the bottom of the list of 25 cities, performing poorly in education, security, and economic security for women.

Image: CCPA

Image: CCPA

While the employment rate for both men and women is significantly higher in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo than the national average, the disparity in employment between the genders is the highest. 72% of men work, compared to only 64% of women. The wage gap is on the higher side too, with women earning 66 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Women and men have almost the same averages of post-secondary completion, with a less than 1% difference.

Domestic and sexual violence reports are higher than average in the city, with 293 reported cases.

Here are all 25 of Canada’s most populous cities ranked in livability for women:

Image: CCPA

Image: CCPA