The provincial government has released the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council's report on the status of women in our province.
One of its findings is a need for more data, particularly disaggregated data when it comes to Indigenous women, women living with disabilities, visible minority women, newcomer women, and senior women.
Dr. Jeannette Montufar is the chair of the advisory council.
"There's a lot of information for women in general, but when you start going deeper into specific groups of women, that's when you start finding that you need more information," she said after a luncheon at the Fort Garry Hotel, where she presented the report.
A lack of data specific to senior women is concerning to 87-year-old Marilyn Wiebe, who calls herself an advocate for seniors.
Despite the difficulty in finding disaggregated data, the report did have enough information to determine there is a gap between Indigenous women and non-Indigenous women when it comes to education. The publication states, in 2016, 72.2 percent of Indigenous women aged 25 to 64 held a high school diploma, compared to 91.1 percent of non-Indigenous women. 67.6 percent of women living with disabilities aged 15 and older held a high school diploma in 2012, the most recent data available, according to the report. Newcomer women were at 96.1 percent, 91.2 percent for visible minority women, and 88 percent for women as a whole.
The report examined the status of women in this province in education, employment, health, and violence against women.
Sustainable development minister Rochelle Squires is the minister responsible for the status of women. She says there are multiple areas the government needs to focus on but one she is very passionate about is improving circumstances for survivors of sexual violence and reducing the prevalence of sexual violence in the city.
"Winnipeg is a signatory, and the province of Manitoba works with the City of Winnipeg, on the UN Safe Cities Initiative, and we need to continue to be moving forward so that we make our public spaces safe for women and girls, and that we make our campuses safe for women and girls, and we make society safe for women and girls," Squires told reporters before Thursday's luncheon.
The report finds, in 2016, Manitoba had the highest rate of police-reported sexual assault among all Canadian provinces. It also finds Manitoba had the highest number of self-reported sexual assault incidents in the country in 2014.
Thursday was International Women’s Day.