New study finds Canadian women are more likely to adhere to social and democratic values than men

Respect for the law, gender equality, and diversity, are a few of the Canadian values identified in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But do all Canadians share these to the same degree?

New data from the General Social Survey by Statistics Canada examined values across different Canadian demographics and found that Canadian women are more likely to closely adhere to most social and democratic values than Canadian men.

Statistics Canada used 2020 data from the Social Identity survey and examined how greatly each gender valued human rights, respect for the law, gender equality, language duality (English and French as the countries’ official languages), ethnic and cultural diversity and respect for Indigenous cultures.


In general, 86 per cent of Canadians strongly valued human rights, 81 per cent valued gender equality and 80 per cent respect the law.

When it came to gender, the study found more women agreed with values such as gender equality, ethnic and cultural diversity and respect for Indigenous cultures versus men.

In fact, 71 per cent of women valued ethnocultural diversity, compared to 62 per cent of men.

The data showed 68 per cent of all Canadians place a high value on respecting Indigenous cultures, however, more women were found to value this than men.

Respecting cultures is defined as respecting the unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs of diverse Indigenous groups, according to Statistics Canada.

Based on the collected data, this is highly valued amongst the Indigenous population. Statistically speaking, 90 per cent of Indigenous women greatly value the respect for Indigenous cultures, compared with 73 per cent of non-Indigenous women. Meanwhile 78 per cent of Indigenous men strongly agreed with this value, compared to 63 percent of non-Indigenous men.

When it came to linguistic duality, there was no gender difference for Canadian values placed on English and French as official national languages—55 per cent of the surveyed population shared this value.


Looking at the intersection of gender and age, it was found that 82 per cent of women aged 15 to 34 years old care greatly about respecting Indigenous cultures, compared to 67 per cent of men in the same age group.

Other findings from government collected data from 2016 to 2019 have similarly found that in general, Canadian youth care greatly about diversity, wanting more diverse representation among staff in justice system institutions and more investment in culturally-relevant resources in these communities.

Comparing age groups among women, it was found that women aged 65 or older agreed less with valuing ethnocultural diversity than the younger demographic of women—60 per cent compared to 82 per cent in 2020.

However, 91 per cent of the women in the older demographic held a high value for respect for the law as opposed to 69 per cent of young women. Patterns between the same age groups were similar for men.

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