Advancing gender equality in Hamilton

This article was originally published by The Hamilton Spectator.

With International Women’s Day having just passed, it’s a good time to reflect on the achievements of gender equality initiatives over the years and to acknowledge the fact that women and gender-diverse individuals continue to face systemic barriers in many areas of society.

In Hamilton, we have several issues related to gender equality:

  • Pay Equity: Women in Hamilton earn, on average, 75 cents for every dollar earned by men. This gap is even wider for women of colour, Indigenous women, and women with disabilities.
  • Domestic Violence: Hamilton has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Ontario, with women being disproportionately impacted.
  • Reproductive Rights: While access to abortion is legal in Canada, barriers to access still exist, particularly for women living in rural or low-income communities.
  • Women’s Advancement: Women in Hamilton are underrepresented in leadership positions and higher-paying industries.
  • Affordable Housing: The lack of affordable housing options in Hamilton disproportionately affects women, families, and gender diverse folks.

These issues highlight the ongoing struggle for gender equality in Hamilton. The law is an effective and valuable tool in the effort to advance gender equality. The Ontario Human Rights Code protects us from discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, gender identity and gender expression. It also prohibits sexual harassment, and offers protections that cover exchanges that happen in the workplace, in places such as restaurants, buses, doctor’s offices, and schools, just to name a few.

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Nicole Biros-Bolton
Nicole Biros-Bolton
P: 289-260-1277