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New data shows that homelessness is a women’s rights issue

THE CONVERSATION

Co-written by Dr. Jesse Jenkinson

Visible homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the housing crisis across Canada. For women, girls and gender-diverse people, homelessness is often hidden, meaning that they are more likely to avoid shelters, couch surf or remain in abusive relationships than end up on the streets. Because of this, we know less about their experiences.

New data from the Pan-Canadian Women’s Housing and Homelessness Survey, the largest gender-specific data collection of its kind in Canada, tells us a clear story.

Lack of access to housing has gendered causes and effects, and gender equality in Canada depends on fair access to adequate housing. This survey, completed by 500 women and gender-diverse people in 12 provinces and territories, shows us why housing is a women’s rights issue.

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