Economic and Social Progress in Canada

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Since universal suffrage, women have made tremendous economic and social progress in Canada. Canada has been called "a world leader in the promotion and protection of women's rights and gender equality," (Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada). Yet a hundred years after universal suffrage, gender disparity continues to exist in Canada. Gender disparity is evident in the political, economic, and social spheres. Political disparity refers to the lack of adequate representation of women in local, provincial, and federal politics, resulting in continued political disenfranchisement and a lack of attention being paid to remedying the situation. Economic disparity refers to unequal pay between men and women in the labor market, economic dependency of women, and differential degrees of wealth and poverty. Social disparity refers to gender bias, sexism, and other sociological factors. Although Canada continues to rank relatively high in terms of most measures of gender parity, the nation can and should do more to ensure political, economic, and social equality. A 2012 assessment of national rankings on gender parity embarrassed the nation as Canada slipped out of the top 20, "behind the Philippines, Latvia, Cuba and Nicaragua," (Grant). The reason for the slip in rankings is "chiefly due to a lack of female representation in politics," notes Grant. Canadian politics is overwhelmingly patriarchal, with 75% men at all levels of political representation (Campbell). Canada
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