Gender-based Analysis Plus Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+)

What is GBA+?

Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is an analytical tool the federal government uses to advance gender equality in Canada. The "plus" in the name highlights that Gender-based Analysis 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+ is used to assess the potential impacts of policies, programs or initiatives on diverse groups of women and men, girls and boys, taking into account gender and other identity factors. GBA+ helps recognize and respond to the different situations and needs of the Canadian population.

Gender is a major factor in GBA+, but we must also take into consideration factors such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income. Analysis that incorporates gender and these other diverse, intersecting factors is called GBA+. Find out more about the difference between sex and gender.

A brief history of GBA+

  • Example 1: Anti-smoking campaigns

    GBA+ could be used to address questions like this:
    Given that people have very different reasons for smoking, how do we create an effective anti-smoking campaign?

    To answer this question, one should consider the gender component:
    Young women and men cite different reasons for smoking. Girls cite curiosity, making friends and fitting in. Boys cite pleasure, looking tough and being independent.

    As well as other factors:
    Low levels of education, lone parent status and lack of social support also play a role in smoking behaviour. The combination of these and other factors, along with gender, would be important for designing an effective anti-smoking campaign.

  • Example 2: Parental Leave

    GBA+ could be used to address questions like this:
    Given that there are many different types of families in Canada, how do we create an equitable system for parental leave?

    To answer this question, one should consider the gender component:
    Women tend to experience more social expectation to stay home and care for their children. Men tend to experience more social expectation to provide for their families financially.

    As well as other factors:
    Different types of families – including single parents, same sex couples and heterosexual couples –might all have different needs for child care. Family structure, along with gender and other factors, would be important for planning and implementing equitable parental leave.

  • Example 3: Settlement Information

    GBA+ could be used to address questions like this:
    Given that people immigrate to Canada for a wide variety of reasons including financial investment, family reunification and as refugees, how do we provide the best information possible to newcomers?

    To answer this question, one should consider the gender component:
    When immigrating to Canada, women and men may have different needs in terms of services like language training, child care and social integration. Also, women and men tend to enter the Canadian workforce with different skill sets and experiences.

    As well as other factors:
    Programs and services that newcomers need will be influenced by a variety of factors including income, education and language – as well as gender. Understanding these factors is critical to providing equitable service and useful settlement information.

  • Example 4: Homelessness

    Homelessness in men is often caused by mental illness and/or addiction, but women often face homelessness as a result of violence they have experienced. These differing root causes require different solutions.

  • Example 5: Public Transit

    A transit commission audit revealed that safety was a serious concern particularly for female subway passengers. Changes were made to include video surveillance of waiting areas, better lighting and intercom systems.

  • Example 6: Heart disease

    Women and men can respond differently to the same health issue, like heart disease or heart attack. Education, language or income might also affect a patient's experience of heart attack as well as his or her ability to recover (think about diet or communication with medical staff).

In summary, this is Status of Women Canada's definition of GBA+:

Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is an analytical tool for examining the potential impacts of policies, programs, and initiatives on diverse groups of women and men, girls and boys, taking into account gender and other identity factors. When applied to government work, GBA+ can help us understand how diverse groups of women and men experience public policy in Canada.

Identity factors include:

Diagram illustrating identity factors which include age, language, sexual orientation, education, ability, geography, culture, ethnicity and income.

This is not a complete list of identity factors. The factors that are important depend on the situation. What factors are important in your life or to the work you do?

No matter where you live, you access or are affected by public programs, legislation and policies. Intersecting factors — gender, age, income, ethnicity and so on — influence each person's ability to access and benefit from federal government initiatives.

For example, these programs and tools take gender and other factors into account:

  • anti-smoking campaigns;
  • policies for parental leave; and
  • settlement information for new immigrants.

Also:

  • homeless shelters;
  • public transit systems;
  • personal financial training;
  • heart disease research; and
  • and many others.

The planning, development and implementation of services and programs can often be improved by using GBA+.

The role of the Government of Canada

It is the duty of the Government of Canada to ensure that Canadian women and men, girls and boys are not adversely affected by public policy. The federal government expects GBA+ to be used as a key tool to inform and assess policies, programs, legislation, services and decision-making.

Federal public servants are required to use GBA+ to plan, implement and evaluate government initiatives.

For Federal Officials

Better government decisions, better results for Canadians

The Government of Canada strives to ensure that initiatives are based on an understanding of the diversity that exists in Canadian society.

Mythbuster

1. Women and men are already equal in Canada, so GBA+ is not necessary

Men's and women's realities are different as a result of both sex (biological differences) and gender (social differences). Although great strides in economic and social equality have been made, equality has not yet been achieved. Furthermore, different groups of women and men might experience inequality as a result of other factors in their lives.

2. GBA+ is advocacy for women

GBA+ is not advocacy for anyone. It is an analytical tool designed to ensure that potentially different impacts for different people are discovered and taken into account during the development and review of policy, programs and initiatives.

3. GBA+ only applies to women and women's issues

GBA+ is important for everyone and for a wide variety of issues. Canadians are not a homogeneous group and should not be treated as such. GBA+ helps ensure that policies, programs or initiatives have a positive impact on all Canadians.

4. GBA+ is biased against men

GBA+ is about fully analyzing impacts and options for everyone, not about promoting one group over another.

5. GBA+ cannot be used in all sectors

GBA+ can and has been used in a wide variety of sectors including education, transport, immigration and health. It applies to social, economic, scientific and other issues as well.

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