Why the Alberta government has talked to 2,000 public servants about gender
Could a gender-based snow plowing policy work in Alberta? Serious question. Sweden adopted a snow-clearing policy that explicitly considered the needs of women, who are more likely to be pushing baby strollers on snowy sidewalks. It’s part of an approach called gender-based analysis, which examines government policies by considering how they specifically affect women.
In this episode, we talk to Carlynn McAneeley, an advisor to Stephanie McLean, Minister for the Status of Women, about the Alberta government’s push to train civil servants in the approach.
“We have a small army of public servants thinking about gender inequality — which is kind of unreal to think about from even five to 10 years ago.”
We’re not just talking about “women’s issues,” like child care or mid-wifery…we’re talking about minimum wage, taxes, and laws that regulate helmet use on ATVs. Listen in to hear how a gendered-approach could potentially affect policy in all of those areas.
When can gender-based analysis fail? How does it shift from lofty policy goal to actually helping that woman pushing a baby stroller in the middle of snowstorm? And how does Alberta compare to other jurisdictions when it comes to unpacking gender in its policies?
If you want to read more, here are a few key pieces:
Read here about what feminists wanted from a gender-based federal budget this year.
Read here about one academic’s critique of how the federal government delivered that budget.
Read here about why a centre-left Swedish political party wanted to make snow clearing routines more gender equal.