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Kelowna safe for women, but not great for full-time employment

Kelowna was ranked 16th out of 26 cities in a recent gender gap report

While Kelowna may be safe for women to live, the gender gap between men and women in the full-time employment sector remains one of the worst cities studied in a recent report.

Kelowna was ranked 16 out of 26 cities in a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report, which examined the gap between the genders in terms of health, education, personal and economic security.

Between 2013 and 2017, the proportion of women working part-time has increased, but the gender gap remains below the national average for those employed full-time at 69 per cent, five points away from the national mark, according to the report.

READ MORE: Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

Kelowna, Victoria and Abbotsford-Mission had the lowest rating for full-time employment for women in 2017 out of the 26 cities.

There was also no change in Kelowna’s earning gap between 2013 and 2017, with women earning 66 per cent of what men earn. There is also a poverty gap between men and women in the city, as 16 per cent of women are low-income earners compared to 14 per cent of men, the report said.

READ MORE: Kelowna tech leader takes on a male dominated industry

Kelowna also ranks closer to the bottom of the 26 cities with women in leadership roles. They currently make up 25 per cent of elected officials, which falls below the national average of 34 per cent for large cities.

More women are likely to have university degrees, and the educational gap has narrowed between men and women, with an increase in women graduated between 2013 and 2017, and a decrease in men with degrees.

However, men were almost three times as likely to have completed a trades training program or apprenticeship.

READ MORE: Businesses should report on wages by gender, B.C. MLA says

Of the cities studied, Kelowna has one of the lowest incidences of violence targeting women, the report said. The study ranks the city as first for personal security.

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