What is GBA+?
Have you or someone you know taken parental leave, been treated for heart disease or recently immigrated to Canada? These are examples of areas where the Government of Canada has used Gender-based analysis Plus (GBA+) as one of the ways to take into account the changing realities and inequalities of Canadian women and men.
What is GBA+?
GBA+ is an analytical tool used to assess the potential impacts of policies, programs, services, and other initiatives on diverse groups of women and men, taking into account gender and other identity factors. The "plus" in the name highlights that GBA+ goes beyond gender, and includes the examination of a range of other intersecting identity factors (such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income).
GBA+ and Gender Equality
In 1995, the federal government committed to using GBA+ as a means of advancing gender equality in Canada, as part of the ratification of the United Nations’ Beijing Platform for Action.
Gender equality is a core Canadian value and is enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of the Constitution of Canada. Gender equality means that women and men, in all their diversity, are able to participate fully in all spheres of Canadian life, contributing to an inclusive and democratic society.
The Government recently renewed its commitment to GBA+ and is working to strengthen its implementation across all federal departments.
To learn more about the Government’s renewed commitment, including its response to the 2015 Report of the Auditor General of Canada “Implementing Gender-based Analysis”, view the:
Achieving gender equality depends on closing key gaps between diverse groups of women and men.
1. Myth: Women and men are already equal in Canada, so GBA+ is not needed.
While many advances have been made, equality gaps remain. Women in Canada today earn, on average, only 73.5 cents for every dollar that men earn. Women are also more often the victims of domestic and sexual violence and continue to be under-represented in leadership and executive positions, occupying only 10.3% of positions on corporate boards.
This is especially evident for certain groups of women. For example, women from northern and rural communities are more likely to experience poverty; Aboriginal women are far more likely to experience sexual and intimate partner violence; and immigrant women experience higher rates of unemployment.
2. Myth: GBA+ only applies to women’s issues – it is advocacy for women.
GBA+ is not advocacy for anyone. It is an analytical tool designed to help us ask questions, challenge assumptions, and to identify potential impacts, taking into account the diversity of Canadians. Once an issue has been analyzed using the GBA+ process, gender may emerge as the most important factor, while in other cases it might be culture, geography, or a combination of factors that may put a particular group at greater risk.
3. Myth: GBA+ only applies to the “social” sectors.
All government policies affect people. While gender and diversity issues may be more obvious in some areas (e.g. education and health) and less obvious in others (e.g. natural resources and defence) this does not necessarily mean that gender is not relevant. GBA+ can and has been used across social, economic, public safety and scientific sectors.
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