REGINA – A new study ranks twenty Canadian cities by the best and worst livable conditions for women and while Regina ranks middle of the pack, Saskatoon takes the second spot.
“I think women do very well in helping people think though or listening to problems,” said Regina city councillor Barbara Young.
Hearing from residents and finding solutions to their problems is one of the main jobs of a city councillor, yet in Regina only two out of the 11 elected representatives are women.
In Saskatoon that number is double, but still well less than half of council.
“Some women won’t come forward because when it’s really male-oriented they wonder, is this really what I want to do?” said councillor Young.
A new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives takes into account factors including wage gaps, political representation, and violence against women.
Quebec city ranks number one and Edmonton comes in last.
“If you just measure, for example, how much money women make and you compare one city to another, then cities where the economy is going well, will get a higher score,” said Kate McInturff, senior researcher of the CCPA.
So that’s why McInturff measures the gap and not how women are doing overall.
According to the study, Regina has the highest rates of reported incidents of intimate partner violence.
“So why is Regina higher? I don’t know,” said Darlene Juschka, coordinator of women’s and gender studies at the University of Regina. “I actually don’t think the prairie provinces are very safe for Aboriginal women, at all. I think they risk their lives just living here.”
However, the study cautions that 90 per cent of all incidents of sexual violence go unreported so it’s difficult to judge the actual levels of violence and whether there have been improvements.
“I also would like to think that that’s because we have such a great Regina Police Service that are really good at tracking and responding to these incidences,” said Deanna Elias- Henry, executive director of the YWCA. “Compared to 30 years ago when I started in this business to now, the awareness in the community is really changed. There’s not the stigma attached (to domestic violence) to what it used to be.”
Women in Regina on average earn $12,000 less than men.
Here is the list of the best places for women in Canada:
1. Québec City
3. St. John’s
14. St. Catharines