NWT government proposes gender equity unit

The NWT government is proposing to create a unit that ensures the territory commits to gender equity in budgets, policies and programs.

Looking ahead to International Women’s Day on March 8, Caroline Wawzonek, the NWT’s minister responsible for the status of women, used her time in the legislature on Thursday to announce the unit’s proposed creation.

The unit will coordinate “cross-department action on gender issues, women’s economic empowerment, and promoting gender equity and leadership at senior levels,” Wawzonek said.


In line with this year’s International Women’s Day theme – “choose to challenge” – Wawzonek said the proposed unit will challenge how the government makes decisions and allocates resources.

“History and science tell us that challenging social norms and standing up for a diversity of voices and perspectives can improve decision-making and organizational functioning,” she said.

“This will make our decision-making better, more inclusive, and more productive.” 

The unit would be responsible for training staff to use Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+), which is a way to assess how diverse groups of people experience government initiatives, programs, and policies. The unit would support the NWT’s Campaign School for Women.

Wawzonek did not specify the stage of planning the proposed gender equity unit has so far reached.