Health & Well-being of Canadian Women

This inforgraphic shows how women are disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence and sexual violence, which affects their participation and productivity in the workforce.

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The health and well-being of women in Canada are negatively affected by the disproportionate levels of intimate partner and sexual violence they experience. Violence against women erodes safety, limits where women choose to work, live, travel or spend their time, and undermine women's opportunities and health.

Personal security, such as safety from harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence, is also an important measure of equality that is notably absent in all of the current indices of gender equality conducted internationally

1 in 4 women in Canada will experience intimate partner or sexual violence in their lifetime.

Violence reported to the police in 2011 shows the gendered nature of the following violence.

8 out of 10 adult victims of intimate partner violence were female, 9 out 10 adult victims of sexual violence were female, 7 out of 10 adult victims of criminal harassment were female. A 2014 RCMP report estimated that a total of 1017 Aboriginal women and girls were murdered between 1980 and 2012 in Canada. There were 164 Aboriginal women and girls missing in Canada on November 4, 2013 for a period exceeding 30 days. There have been repeated calls for a national public inquiry into this devastating Canadian crisis.

The violence experienced by women may compromise their participation and productivity in the workforce. For example, experiencing intimate partner or sexual violence may lead to distractibility, absenteeism, mental health concerns, and safety issues that impact functioning at work. Workplaces that are informed about violence and its impacts increase employee safety, and foster productivity in employees who are abusive or abused. These workplaces not only support their employees, but in doing so, they also take steps to improve their bottom line.

57% Canadian women who reports having experienced spousal violence are employed or seeking employment. $20,943, 599 Estimate of wages Canadian women lose because of spousal violence.

While women experience more threats to their security and safety within their homes and intimate relationships, men are disproportionately affected by violence outside of the home and relationships. Women and men have the right to personal security and safety.

Economic instability or dependence keeps women in abusive relationships. The loss of belongings, home, salary, health and dental benefits are examples of the burden a woman must carry with her the moment she leaves.


This infographic emerged from the Issue-Based Newsletter 10: Gender Equality.