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Are the #MeToo and Time's Up movements shifting attitudes?

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Needle is moving, but only marginally, says Plan International Canada

Younger women tend to report more forms of gender inequality, says Plan International Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – International Women’s Day has been around for more than a century. But today marks the first since the #MeToo and ‘Time’s Up’ movements really exploded on social media, so how much have things actually changed?

The needle is moving, but only marginally, according to Plan International Canada, which surveyed 3,000 people about shifting attitudes in the wake of those campaigns.

“What was sort of surprising is that obviously the #MeToo movement has been one of the strongest pushes for gender equality that many have seen in their lifetime. So the fact that only about 50 per cent of men are re-evaluating things like sexual assault is really surprising,” says the group’s CEO Caroline Riseboro.

The results found less than a third (32 per cent) of those asked say the way they think about male-female power relations has changed because of the movements, close to the same amount (31 per cent) say the movements have changed how they think about sexual assault.

“Even more interesting is that two-thirds of men and women (surveyed) across Canada agreed that the #MeToo movement is actually causing them to re-evaluate how men interact with women,” says Riseboro.

There’s also an age component to the results.

“The younger the woman, the more forms of gender inequality they say, whether it was being harassed on public transportation [or] being harassed in the workplace,” she says.

“When we looked at older women, some of the things that they were struggling with were things like gender pay and equity in pay. We found across the board, regardless of age, women continue to suffer discrimination because they are women.”

You can celebrate today by heading to a number of local events marking the occasion.

The University Women’s Club of Vancouver is hosting a panel discussion on equality with International Anti-Human Trafficking advocate Cathy Peters at Hycroft at 5:30 p.m.