Committee approves strategy to advance gender equity

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The City’s Community and Protective Services Committee today approved a comprehensive strategy to close the gender gap so that everyone, regardless of their gender, age, abilities, religion, race or income, can fully take part in all aspects of life in Ottawa.

The Women and Gender Equity Strategy outlines how the City will integrate gender equity in all its processes, services, strategies and policies. The City will implement actions that remove systemic barriers faced by women and gender diverse people and ensure equitable access to City services.

Based on public consultations and stakeholder input, the strategy is focused on four outcomes: policy change, safety, equitable representation, and gender inclusivity. The strategic framework for the first phase, taking place in 2021 and 2022, outlines key actions that the City would take to address those areas, including prioritizing women in the housing blitz, piloting free menstrual products, hiring from equity-deserving groups, and reviewing policies on sexual and gender-based harassment and violence.

There will also be a focus on education and training on gender equity for City staff, and the safety and security of all City workspaces and facilities will be reviewed and standardized. Recognizing that public health crises impact women and girls disproportionately, the strategy also integrates gender equity into the City’s COVID-19 response and recovery planning.

Recommendations from today’s meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

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