FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick women – for the first time – formed half of the working population in the province in 2011, according to a report released today.

Status of Women, Equality Profile 2012 – Women in New Brunswick also reports that women now outnumber men in New Brunswick universities and women’s share of management positions has increased substantially.

"This profile is a useful tool when it comes to measuring how far we have come on our commitment to achieving equality between men and women in New Brunswick," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Marie-Claude Blais, who is also the minister responsible for the status of women. "We will continue to build on our initiatives to ensure that our province is a secure, economically viable and sustainable place for women to live, work and rear their children."

The report updates statistics and tracks trends related to women in health care, education, labour force, income, positions of influence, family responsibilities and justice.

It shows that New Brunswick women are making progress in some key areas:

●    for the first time, in 2011, women formed half of New Brunswick's employed population, matching the national level. Eighty-four per cent of working women with dependent children had a full-time job, compared to 76 per cent in Canada.
●    New Brunswick had the fourth-smallest wage gap among the provinces. In 2011, the average hourly wage for women was 11.7 per cent less than that of men – the smallest wage gap since 1997 when hourly wage gaps were first published. The wage gap is wider in Canada as a whole, at 13.7 per cent.
●    women accounted for 59 per cent of full-time students at New Brunswick universities. In 2011-12, women made up 49 per cent of full-time regular students at the province's English and French community colleges, compared to 37 per cent in 2008-09. Forty-five per cent of all women held a post-secondary degree or diploma.
●    New Brunswick's conviction rate for sexual assault was more than double the Canadian average: 56 per cent compared to 25 per cent for Canada in 2009-10.

"While we should be encouraged by our progress, we must recognize that there is still work to be done to advance in other areas like violence against women and the participation of women in male-dominated sectors,” said Blais. “Thanks to this data, we can identify areas for improvement and work together with our partners to take the necessary steps toward achieving our goal of equality."


●    Women’s Issues Branch