Celebrating Immigrant Women in Canada on International Women’s Day

Canada has often been ahead of the curve regarding women’s rights. The country granted The Vote in 1917, and in 1951, Canada took its first significant steps toward gender equality in the workplace. Since then, the progressive legislation has allowed Canada to become a safe, robust environment for women from all over the world.

Immigration of Women to Canada

In 2022, almost 500,000 immigrants were welcomed into Canada. About half, or a total of 242,884 female immigrants, arrived in Canada. As the world celebrates March 8 as International Women’s Day, let's take a look at how Canada has become a pioneer in the female equality movement.

In 2023, Canada chose the theme ‘Every Woman Counts’ for its International Women’s Day. It serves as a reminder that all women, regardless of age or background, have a position in all aspects of Canadian culture, including the economic, social, and political realms.

It honours the accomplished women in Canada by reminding today's children and mainly, girls, that their dreams are attainable.

From CEOs to dental hygienists and agricultural workers, immigrant women have a place in Canada’s workforce across all fields.

Over 500 groups provide settlement assistance to immigrants across Canada. Many of them cater especially to women.

Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot

Immigrant women of colour continue to make less in the labour force in Canada. Because of discrimination and similiar barriers, they frequently have difficulty getting and retaining excellent employment in Canada.

The pilot program provides settling services and support to Canadian immigrant women to improve their job results and professional progression.

This program will help to increase chances for newcomer women of colour to engage in the economy wholly and equally.

Working Women Community Centre (WWCC)

Working Women Community Centre is a women-focused settlement organization in Toronto that assists immigrants. They have been making an impact on the lives of foreign women and their families since 1974.

The WWCC serviced over 9,600 customers last year from four locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Many immigrants battle with poverty and unemployment if they are not assisted in integrating into the Canadian environment. Newcomers flourish in their communities when they receive the right assistance and have access to the right chances.

For more than four decades, the WWCC has fought to ensure that people have access to the programs and services that promote healthy neighbourhoods. There is something for everyone, from relocation guidance and community projects to economic development and English language teaching, educational support, and citizen involvement.

International Women's Day in Canada

International Women's Day is a worldwide day to acknowledge and enjoy the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women and girls. It is also a time to promote consciousness about the progress made toward gender equity and recognize that work still needs to be done.

The roots of International Women's Day can be traced back to the early twentieth century. It emerged due to labour groups' activities in North America and Europe, and it demonstrated a growing desire for women's equal participation in society.

Today, International Women's Day is observed in many nations around the globe as a day of unity, joy, contemplation, advocacy, and action.

Women’s Rights in Canada

Women and men in Canada have equal rights and liberties. The government safeguards women in risky circumstances, assists them in healing and connects them to funded services.

According to the 1977 Canadian Human Rights Act, all Canadians have the right to equality, equitable chance, reasonable treatment, and an atmosphere free of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.

The legalization of married women's property rights was one of the first moves toward equity for Canadian women.

Beginning in Ontario in 1884 and Manitoba in 1900, the Married Women's Property Act granted married women the same legal privileges as males, allowing women to enter into legal agreements and purchase land.

Women were refused the opportunity to vote in provincial and federal elections at the turn of the twentieth century. This started to alter in 1916 when women got the right to vote in the Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan provincial elections. Women were given the ability to vote in British Columbia and Ontario in 1917.

The passage of the Fair Employment Practices Act and the Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act in Ontario in 1951 was one of the first significant moves toward gender equity in the workplace.

Women in Power

Gender participation has long been a contentious topic in Canadian politics.

Louise McKinney was the first woman elected to a provincial assembly in Canada in the 1917 Alberta general election. Agnes Macphail was the first woman voted to the House of Commons in the 1921 Canadian federal election. She very famously said,

"I do not want to be the angel of any home; I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns at being angels."

Kim Campbell was Canada's only female Prime Minister. The Senate in Canada briefly reached gender parity, with 47 male and 47 female members in November of 2020.

Canada has a long list of female cabinet members, with the likes of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau and The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, among their ranks.

Although female political participation has grown since then, and political parties have recognized growing the number of female candidates as an organizing and political objective, the government believes there is still more that can be done to address gender disparity.

Join the thousands of women that look to Canada for an environment with gender equality, endless opportunities, and strong protection of their rights.

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