January 25, 2019 8:25 pm

More Edmonton women in politics, but domestic violence rates still high: survey

Nov. 27, 2018: Advocates for victims of domestic abuse are calling it a crisis. The severity of violence is up and shelters are over capacity. Sarah Kraus has more.

A A

The results of the second Edmonton Women’s Quality of Life Scorecard were released on Friday, showing more women are running for public office than two years ago but also indicating that rates of sexual assault and intimate partner violence have increased.

Scroll down to read the full Women’s Quality of Life Scorecard.

Story continues below

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

Political participation

Compared to the 2017 study, the number of Edmonton women running for municipal, provincial and federal elections increased.

“This has not always resulted in women being elected but is a positive sign of potential future shifts,” the 2019 scorecard said.

“In the last election for Edmonton City Council, the percentage of women running increased from 21 per cent to 29 per cent and resulted in an additional woman being elected. For the 2015 provincial election, a slight increase in the number of women who ran for MLA (from 28 per cent to 30 per cent) resulted in a marked increase in the number of women elected (from 23 per cent to 43 per cent).

“The number of women appointed to City of Edmonton agencies, boards and committees has been increasing slowly over the past four years and is now nearly at parity (49 per cent),” the report found.

WATCH BELOW (Jan. 31, 2017): A scorecard is highlighting where Edmonton women stand when it comes to quality of life in our city. Vinesh Pratap reports.

Safety

Compared to their Canadian counterparts, the report found women in Edmonton are more likely to be assaulted (146 in 100,000 compared to 107 per 100,000).

The scorecard also found Edmonton women are more often victims of intimate partner violence than women in other parts of Canada (499 compared to 393 per 100,000).

In both areas, the rates of reported crimes went up from the 2017 report.

Across Alberta, increasing numbers of women, children and seniors are seeking shelter, and the province is facing an ongoing crisis in domestic violence and abuse, the 2019 scorecard said.

READ MORE: Crisis calls to Alberta women’s shelters up 10% in 2 years

The executive director of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters said its data confirms the report’s findings.

“In the past three years, women’s shelters have served 30,987 women, children and seniors,” Jan Reimer told Global News. “We are also aware that women seeking to end their abusive relationship face the greatest danger.

“Our data indicates that women coming to shelter are now facing the highest levels of femicide in seven years, a significant cause of that is threats with a gun and strangulation.”

ACWS encouraged anyone who needs shelter support or outreach services to go online or call the shelter helpline at 1-866-331-3933.

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

Finance and economy

The 2019 scorecard found Edmonton women’s participation in the labour force remained relatively stable. There was a slight (one per cent) dip in full-time employment (to part-time) but that could be the result of other external conditions like Alberta’s economic downturn.

The report pointed out women in Alberta are the highest paid in Canada.

Background

The first scorecard was done January 2017 as part of city council’s Women’s Initiative. It set benchmarks to track over time in five areas: finance/economy, education, health and wellness, leadership, political empowerment and participation and safety. It used data from 2015, and the 2019 edition used data from 2017.

The latest report found Edmonton women are above or on par with their Canadian counterparts in three of the five areas: finance/economy, education and health and wellness.

Edmonton Women’s Qualit… by on Scribd

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.