Elaine Taylor speaks at U.N. on gender equality

Deputy premier Elaine Taylor was in New York this week to speak on behalf of Canada at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Deputy premier Elaine Taylor was in New York this week to speak on behalf of Canada at the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Taylor, who is also the minister responsible for the women’s directorate, spoke about gender data analysis and gave a separate presentation about Yukon’s work on gender equality.

Taylor said she spoke about a project the women’s directorate has been working on for the past year and a half to gather data about the status of women in the territory.

The directorate has been collecting information in a number of areas, including health, education and economic security. It plans to launch an interactive website in the coming weeks to help Yukoners understand what progress the territory is making on gender equality.

The Yukon is just the second Canadian jurisdiction to take on this type of research, Taylor said. She said the information came from a number of sources, including the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Whitehorse Food Bank.

“Compared to other jurisdictions in the country… we’re far more advanced than other jurisdictions.”

At the U.N. session this week, Taylor spoke about Yukon’s approach to the research, and the challenges the territory faces. Chief among those, she said, is a lack of current information in some areas.

“One of the biggest challenges in really advancing this work is coming up with the data and having consistent measurement of the data,” she explained. “Some of the data we’ve been using is already five years old.”

Where quantitative data are lacking, she said, the website will use timelines and stories to illustrate progress on gender equality in the territory.

Taylor said her presentation at the U.N. session was a chance to show Patty Hajdu, the federal minister responsible for the status of women, that the government needs to do a better job of collecting data about women.

She said she spoke in front of about 400 people, representing over 190 member states.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to speak to our work,” she said.

Taylor said she also participated in a discussion of violence against women and girls.

The Canadian delegation in New York also included Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould and representatives of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

The U.N. session runs from March 14 to 24.

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