While Canada ranks No. 31 out of 145 countries for women’s labour force participation, its wage equality ranking sits at No. 71, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum.

It found Canada’s gender pay gap is roughly 16 per cent in comparison to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries. The report also noted Canada has closed 77 per cent of its overall gender gap — which includes economic, health and social factors — to rank No. 25.

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By comparison, Iceland — which was ranked No. 1 overall for having closed 91 per cent of its gender gap — was ranked No. 30 for women’s labour force participation and No. 4 for wage equality, with a gender pay gap of 12 per cent compared to other OECD member countries.

The report noted gender gaps in the workforce are driven and affected by many factors, including structural barriers, socio-economic and technological transformation, as well as economic shocks.

“The decade of austerity that followed [the 2008/09 financial crisis] constrained sectors that provide the core of social infrastructure, affecting outcomes for families and primary caregivers — often women — during the [coronavirus] pandemic,” it said. “Geopolitical conflict and climate change both impact women disproportionately. In addition, the projected deepening of the current cost-of-living crisis is also likely to impact women more severely than men, as women continue to earn and accumulate wealth at lower levels.”

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