The Ottawa-based Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released its “Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada” report and found Kingston to be the best city to live in for 2019.
First published in 2014, the annual report rates five factors in 26 of Canada’s largest cities – all with a population over 150,000 people – based on women’s access to economic security, education, health, leadership, and personal security.
Overall, Kingston came in at the top spot largely due to a number one rating for ‘educational attainment’ and coming in second on ‘economic participation’.
In terms of educational attainment, the report states that “Kingston ranks first and fourth among large cities in terms of the gender gap in educational attainment among university and college graduates, respectively, with both gaps favouring women.”
The city’s ‘economic participation and security’ for women has been helped by relatively stable employment rates in recent years, among other factors. The report writes that in 2017, women experienced a boost in employment and the gender employment gap narrowed to virtual parity at 99.4%.
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More than three-quarters of female employees work in full-time jobs, which is the ninth highest proportion among large cities, and the full-time employment gap was six percentage points above the Canadian benchmark at 90.5%.
Kingston’s lowest marks were for ‘leadership and political empowerment’ and ‘personal safety’.
Among other considerations, the report reveals that only one-quarter of elected officials are women (26%), which is below the national average of 34%. However, outside of politics, women in Kingston hold 40.7% of all management jobs – the third highest among large cities and above the national average of 34.6%.
Regarding the report’s analysis of women’s personal security, the number of reported intimate partner violence was stated to be lower than the average for big cities, but rates are considerably higher for sexual assault as well as for criminal harassment targeting women.