Turning Feminist Promises Into Progress
Last year, Oxfam Canada launched its first Feminist Scorecard. With a bold feminist vision and elected on a promise of inclusive growth, our view was that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government were well-placed to take ambitious action to tackle the twin struggles of gender and economic inequality at home and abroad. Given Oxfam’s commitment to supporting women’s rights and gender equality our objective with the Feminist Scorecard was to assess the government’s progress in turning feminist words into action.
Feminist Scorecard 2018 continues this tradition. It assesses the steps that the government took between March 2017 and February 2018 to make meaningful progress on women’s rights and gender equality from a feminist perspective. Progress is assessed across eight policy areas: representation and leadership; global development; climate change; care work; gender-based violence; tax; conflict and crisis; and jobs and pay equity.
There is no doubt that the government is making policy and spending decisions to advance this agenda. Over the past year, feminists have celebrated several wins – Canada’s first Feminist International Assistance Policy, the launch of the second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the development of Canada’s first gender budget, the passing of federal legislation on sexual harassment and violence and the creation of the Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, just to name a few.
However, as this scorecard shows, there is still much work to do. We must situate these victories in a broader context. The world is facing multiple crises – economic inequality, climate change, displacement and violence – and women are disproportionately affected, especially women with intersecting identities. At the same time, hard-won women’s rights have been clawed back in many parts of the world. Here in Canada, while there has been progress, considerable challenges remain.