Gender Equity & LGBTQ2S+ Resources

Our lives and communities are enriched by the many different people and cultures that make up British Columbia.

Too many people are directly and deeply affected by barriers because of their gender, race, socio economic status, sexual orientation or ability. Women and non-binary people often experience multiple, intersecting barriers such as poverty, racism, ableism, homophobia, or transphobia.

Work is underway in B.C. to advance equality throughout B.C and these services and opportunities are helping to expand access to childcare, health care, education and training, affordable housing, counselling and crisis support services, as well as support for people facing domestic violence and sexual assault. Work is also underway to create more opportunities for training and good jobs, and encourage more balanced representation in leadership positions.



Education 

Access to education and training

All students should have equitable, inclusive access to learning opportunities for achievement and advancement. Here is some information and resources:

 

Training and education is available through a variety of post-secondary options - from apprenticeships to university programs.

StudentAid BC helps British Columbians with the cost of post-secondary education through student loans, grants and scholarships. There are also programs that help with loan repayment. Sixty-one per cent of student loans are held by women and Budget 2019 eliminated the interest to make post-secondary education more affordable.

Expanding women’s access to education and training in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is encouraged through programs and funding including scholarships for women.

Everyone has a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). It's an inclusive term that applies to everyone, whether they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, heterosexual or cisgender (identifying with the same gender that one was assigned at birth).

  • Visit SOGI 123 to learn more about SOGI-inclusive education in B.C.'s K-12 schools

 


Health

Access to health care

B.C.’s publicly-funded health care system ensures that all eligible B.C. residents have access to medically necessary health care services through the Medical Services Plan and to eligible prescription medications, medical supplies, and pharmacy services through the PharmaCare program.

In B.C., public health insurance is called the Medical Services Plan (MSP). It covers the cost of medically-necessary insured doctor services.

HealthLink BC provides reliable non-emergency health information and advice in British Columbia.

 


Changing your identification and accessing other services

Proving your identity is required for many day-to-day activities like completing an application or renting a hotel room. B.C. residents should have government-issued ID and know how to keep their personal identity safe.

The government is taking action to ensure that gender diverse British Columbians are recognized in a respectful way and have access to programs and services that meet their needs.

A new, third option enables gender diverse people to choose “X” on their provincial government identification, rather than only male or female.

As a B.C. resident you are required to keep your personal information current.

There are a few life events that could require an update to your personal information – getting married or divorced, legally changing your name, moving, or changing your gender.

Service BC provides front line support for many of the hundreds of programs and services the provincial government offers to residents, businesses and visitors.

 


Housing 

Housing programs and support

Access to affordable, safe and appropriate housing is important for all communities to be healthy and economically resilient.


Law and human rights

British Columbia protects and promote human rights through the B.C. Human Rights Code or the Code. The Code helps to protect you from discrimination and harassment. The independent Human Rights Tribunal is responsible for dealing with complaints under the Human Rights Code. Learn more about your rights and how to access B.C.’s justice system:

Legal Aid can help eligible British Columbians throughout the province navigate the justice system including in areas such as family, criminal and immigration law. Find out how you can access legal aid:

B.C.’s Human Rights Commission has been re-established to promote a more inclusive and just society for all British Columbians. Under certain circumstances, British Columbians can make a complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal if they feel their human rights are not being protected.

Learn more about Small Claims Court  

View information on How to marry in BC 

 


Gender equity and LGBTQ2S+ resources

LGBTQ2S+ health 

It is vitally important that all people have access to health care services that are inclusive and respectful. Here is some helpful health information and resources:​

Expanded public funding is improving access to transgender health services, including for gender-affirming surgeries.

Find out more at Trans Care BC about:

 


Gender equity & LGBTQ2S+ employment and income supports 

The B.C. government is committed to helping people achieve what they need to be successful. Here are some resources to help people looking for work or planning a career change.  For those in need with no other resources, income assistance may help support a transition to employment. Disability assistance may also help those designated as a Person with Disabilities who need financial or health support. 

The Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan in B.C.’s Public Service Agency ensures our public service reflects the diversity of British Columbians.

Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) ensure that women, youth and Indigenous peoples will have access to employment, training and apprenticeship opportunities on major infrastructure projects.

Women make up a disproportionately large number of minimum wage workers. To help close the pay gap and enable everyone to pay for basic necessities, the minimum wage is being raised.

  • Minimum wage - Find information for employees and employers in B.C.

A variety of programs and resources specifically provide help for women who are looking for employment, ranging from mentoring in business development to training in the trades.

 

Supporting transgender and gender diverse employees

Better access to childcare will help more people, especially women, obtain work, advance their career or pursue post-secondary education.

The Affordable Child Care Benefit helps all families earning up to $111,000 saving them up to $15,000 per year, per child.

More than 900,000 job openings are expected in B.C. by 2028 and gender equity is essential in keeping B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing.

Find a job or career:

Public sector organizations such as agencies, Crowns and boards are created to provide programs and services on behalf of the B.C. government. British Columbians are being asked to step forward and help ensure public sector boards reflect the diversity of the province.

In March 2019, the Province released TogetherBC: British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. TogetherBC sets the Province’s path to reducing overall poverty by 25% and child poverty by 50% in five years.

The Survivors of Violence and/or Abuse program provides skills training and employment supports to overcome barriers to employment

 

Disability and income assistance

Access My Self Serve to help you apply for assistance

 


Safety

Safety resources

Ending violence and supporting safety are a priority in B.C. Learn more about supports and services available to help people facing violence.

Tens of thousands of women, men and gender diverse people are directly affected by violence against them just because of who they are. There are supports to help individuals who face gender-based violence and each of us can play a role in helping to end it.

Together we can end gender-based violence

Women and children facing violence need safe places to go. Building B.C.: Women’s Transition Housing Fund provides $734M over the next 10 years.

VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual service available across B.C. and the Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recent changes to employment standards provide five days of  job-protected, paid leave for people who need time away from work after facing domestic or sexual violence. Before, people escaping, recovering or rebuilding their lives had no ability to take time from their jobs to find the solutions needed to make life safer for themselves and their families unless their employer agreed to the leave.

Domestic Violence and Sexual assault is a serious problem in British Columbia.  We can’t stop sexual violence if we don’t all speak up and say something. Get help and take action. Say Something

The launch of BC Bus North is making sure women and girls have safe and affordable travel in northern B.C.

Access information on housing: 

Play a part of keeping yourself, loved ones, community safe by reporting crime.  

Learn more information about:

A message from the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, and resources for people facing domestic violence:

Learn about services and resources for staying safe.

 


Indigenous peoples and safety

B.C. is taking concrete action to support Indigenous peoples and move towards true and lasting reconciliation. Learn more about programs and services to support Indigenous people in B.C.

 

Reconciliation and gender equity

Government is taking concrete action to support Indigenous peoples and move towards true and lasting reconciliation. Support for programs that address violence and empower women, like the Moosehide Campaign and Giving Voice, ensures a safer future for Indigenous women and children.

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was established by the federal government in September 2016 to examine and report on systemic causes of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls and their greater vulnerability to violence.

In honour of the women, girls and two-spirit peoples who have been stolen and those who have survived, B.C. is committed to learning from their stories, taking action and enacting change.

Community-based engagement to collaborate on concrete steps was undertaken through the summer and early fall of 2019.

Review the B.C. submission to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The B.C. government supports the Moose Hide Campaign.  The campaign is a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women and children.

$2 million has been provided to support the campaign’s work and B.C.’s ongoing commitment to end violence against women and children.