January 31, 2017 1:03 pm
Updated: January 31, 2017 9:20 pm

Edmonton women have lower rates of political empowerment than national average: study

WATCH ABOVE: A new scorecard is highlighting where Edmonton women stand when it comes to quality of life in our city. Vinesh Pratap reports.

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A new report on the quality of life for women in Edmonton finds that women in the city are above or on par with Canadian women in some categories but lag behind in others.

The results from the first Edmonton Women’s Quality of Life scorecard suggests women in Alberta’s capital are above or on par with women in the rest of the country in the areas of finance and economy, education and health. However, Edmonton ranks lower to other provincial and national rates in the indicators of safety and leadership, and political empowerment and participation.

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City Coun. Bev Esslinger, along with members of Women@theCity and the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE), shared findings from the report Tuesday.

“As part of our work with the Women’s Initiative, we developed this Quality of Life Scorecard to provide insight into the lives and experiences of women in our city,” Esslinger said.

“This analysis provides an important benchmark for us to track over time where change may be occurring and where improvement is still needed.”

READ MORE: Canada ranked third for women’s quality of life

Specifically, women are behind the national average in the areas of part-time employment rates and participation in apprenticeships and trades, according to the report.

In relation to political empowerment and participation, Edmonton has fewer city council candidates and elected municipal officials than the Canadian average.

Edmonton women also trail by three per cent in front-line supervisory roles, but are at or above the national average in management and senior management positions.

Watch below: A new report on the quality of life for women in Edmonton finds that women in the city are above or on par with Canadian women in some categories but lag behind in others. The only woman on Edmonton City Council, Bev Esslinger, weighs in on the report. 

The report determined women’s safety needs to improve in Alberta’s capital based on statistics that show women’s homeless rates in the city are below the provincial benchmark rates in respect to provisional or full-time shelter, or unsheltered homelessness.

READ MORE: Regina could improve quality of life for women

“We know there is still more work to do in achieving gender equality for women in Edmonton,” WAVE chair Sandra Woitas said.

“We can use these scorecard results to target future research and develop new initiatives to improve the quality of life of Edmonton women.”

The report is intended to be a benchmark so that new data can be compiled and progress in Edmonton can be evaluated.

Women@theCity is a group of City of Edmonton employees that addresses issues of gender inequality in municipal employment.

WAVE advocates for women’s gender-based issue resolutions and opportunities related to city policies, priorities and decisions.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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