Release: BC Gender Equality Report Card finds province failing to meet urgent needs in healthcare and economic security

January 24, 2023 – For Immediate Release

Vancouver, unceded Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) homelands – Today, West Coast LEAF released a report card assessing BC’s progress in advancing gender equality in economic security and access to healthcare. The Gender Equality Report Card reveals that from January 2021 to November 2022, the BC government’s actions have not responded to the scale and urgency of persistent gender inequalities in healthcare and economic security. This is reflected in gendered income inequality, housing unaffordability, healthcare inaccessibility, and a lack of access to harm reduction, among other concerns.

The Gender Equality Report Card assesses BC’s track record on gender justice by determining what actions the government has taken and where action is overdue. It centres firsthand knowledge shared by PACE Society, Urban Native Youth Association, and the Society for Narcotic and Opioid Wellness. Grades in the report card reflect the input of 30 community dialogue participants, 26 organizations, and 35 individuals with expertise in the key issues identified.

BC received a D- in the areas of racism and gender-based discrimination in healthcare, and care for people who use substances. Progress is severely lacking in those areas, with negative consequences for gender justice. BC earned C to D grades in other areas of economic security and healthcare, such as financial supports, housing and homelessness, reproductive justice, and expansive and wholistic care. The exception is childcare, where the province has made progress, achieving a grade of B.

“Instead of tinkering around the margins, BC needs to boldly address the economic security and healthcare issues that women and people who are marginalized based on gender are facing,” says Kate Murray, law and policy researcher at West Coast LEAF. “The Gender Equality Report Card is an urgent call to action for BC to stop applying band-aid solutions and to address the underlying causes of poverty and inadequate access to healthcare head on.”

“Intersecting systems of oppression have exacerbating impacts on the health, safety, and well-being of Trans, Non-Binary, and Two Spirit sex workers,” says Nour Kachouh, managing co-executive director at PACE Society. “Access to healthcare through a trauma-informed and non-judgmental lens is essential to advancing gender equity. With peer health navigators, Trans, Non-Binary, and Two Spirit folks not only have better access to healthcare, but also have support with navigating the healthcare system.”

“The report card highlights the solutions that impacted communities have shared to address the overlapping crises in economic security and healthcare in this province,” says Humera Jabir, staff lawyer at West Coast LEAF. “BC needs to invest in evidence-based and community-led solutions for equal and dignified access to healthcare, and the economic supports and resources necessary for all to thrive. The report card provides a clear roadmap for how this government can do better to address systemic gender injustices in our province. We hope to see greater investments in next month’s provincial budget announcement.”

Read the Gender Equality Report Card 2021/2022.

Read the Executive Summary.


Media contact:

Iman Baobeid
Manager of communications, West Coast LEAF
604-684-8772, ext. 226

Return to the Gender Equality Report Card 2021/2022 page.