http://www.oci-bec.gc.ca/reports/RPP2003_e.aspIn the Status of Women Canada (SWC) Report on Plans and Priorities for the 2003-2004 Estimates, the current status of women in Canada is described as the following:
In general, women's economic situation continues to steadily advance, but intolerable realities are shown in some statistics. For example, women's incomes remain lower than men's, and their poverty rate continues to be higher even though during the period from 1996 to 2000, the poverty rates for lone mothers dropped by 11 percentage points. Women's after-tax incomes have increased by 10 per cent of men's over nine years.
In addition, violence against women remains a significant social and economic problem in Canada, contributing to inequalities and injustice in society. New statistics on homicide in Canada show that spousal homicide, mostly resulting from men killing their wives, increased by 23 percent in 2001. Women, especially young ones, are also: three times more likely than male victims to be physically injured by partners; five times more likely to be hospitalized as a result of the violence; three times more likely than male victims to be obliged to take time off from paid or unpaid work to deal with the consequences of the violence; and five times more likely than men to say they feared for their lives. The economic effects of violence include lost productivity, and expenditures associated with the need for social, medical, legal and police services.
To improve women’s status, the Agenda for Gender Equality (AGE) is the main strategy adopted by SWC. AGE is a government framework to ensure that gender perspectives are taken into account in current and forth-coming policy and program initiatives to strengthen public policy. In 2003-2004, SWC’s work will continue to center on three priority areas: improving women's economic autonomy, eliminating violence against women, and advancing women's human rights. To achieve progress in these areas, the following key issues are emphasized: improved access to benefits for non-standard workers, increased support to children and families, expanding opportunities in the global, knowledge-based economy, promoting the full participation of aboriginal and Inuit women, building on gains made regarding women's human rights, addressing violence against women, and promoting gender equality globally.
To attain the preceding focuses, SWC has to focus its efforts on two fronts: accelerating knowledge building on selected issues with key audiences and fostering partnerships with key stakeholders for targeted institutional change. Further details of the report can be found in http://www.oci-bec.gc.ca/reports/RPP2003_e.asp