Saskatoon and Regina are two of the worst cities to live in if you’re a Canadian woman, according to a national report released Thursday.
The report, by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, ranked the 25 biggest cities in the country, taking into account subcategories like economic security, health, education and personal security.
The report ranked Regina 18 on its overall list and Saskatoon at 21.
“Both of those cities show very large gender wage gaps and gaps in the employment rates of women compared to men,” Iglika Ivanova, a senior economist with the group, said.
“Both cities tend to report fairly high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence, so those are areas where the cities need to work on.”
Saskatoon ranked last on the list in the subcategory of personal security, while Regina was placed at 14.
Regina’s lowest individual ranking was at 19 in economic security, where it found women earned 73 cents on the male dollar. Saskatoon was ranked at 23 in the same category, with women earning 63 cents on the male dollar.
“I think there’s a lot of frustration, especially with women in regards to how we’re paid,” said Caval Olson-Lepage, president of Business and Professional Women of Saskatoon.
“What we are hearing from our members for example is when they are applying for jobs, they’re being offered a wage whereas when they speak with their male counter there’s a salary negotiation going on.”
Ivanova said while it’s interesting to look at where each city ends up on the list, the bigger point is to start a conversation about the existing wage gaps in Canada.
Olson-Lepage echoed that sentiment.
“It’s not negative to talk about the fact that women are paid less, it’s absurd that they’re still paid less, but it’s something that still needs to be talked about, we can’t be afraid to have these discussions,” Olson-Lepage said.
“It is 2016, it’s about time that we stood up and actually made the changes.”