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1 in 4 Canadian women believe Trudeau is a feminist: poll

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addresses media in Winnipeg on Thursday, Sept.19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A new poll of Canadian women says only one in four believe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he says he is a feminist.

The survey conducted by DART and Maru/Blue surveyed 753 randomly selected adult Canadian women who are members of their online panel. It also asked whether the women felt better off than they were in 2015 and if they felt Trudeau’s government had created better opportunities for women.

Do Canadian women believe Justin Trudeau when he says he’s a feminist?

Trudeau labelled himself a feminist early on in his term as Prime Minister, with his “Because it’s 2015” retort to a question about his gender-balanced ministerial team making headlines around the world.

However, the poll found only 24 per cent believe him. Thirty-eight per cent said they don’t believe him at all and 37 per cent said they were unsure or didn’t know.

Women who believe Trudeau in this regard are most likely to come from British Columbia and Ontario followed by Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Manitoba/Saskatchewan and Alberta, in that order. The results were fairly consistent across age brackets, with women between 18 and 34 being slightly more likely to agree (27 per cent) with the self-proclaimed label than those between 35 and 54 (25 per cent), and 55 and above (22 per cent)

Women who don’t believe Trudeau when he calls himself a feminist are most likely to hail from Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan, followed by those from Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Québec and British Columbia, in that order. In this category, age did make a difference, with almost half (45 per cent) of women aged 55 and above saying they don’t believe the Prime Minister, compared with 40 per cent of women between 35 to 54 and 29 per cent between 18 and 34.

In terms of education and household income, the poll found those with the highest education and household income are more likely to believe Trudeau than those with less education and lower income.

Do Canadian women feel they are better off now than they were in 2015?

The survey found that 63 per cent of Canadian women do not feel like they are better off now than they were four years ago, when Trudeau’s Liberals came into power, while 37 per cent do feel like they’re better off than in 2015. Only five per cent of all Canadian women surveyed feel they’re very much better off.

Those most likely to disagree that they’re better off live in Alberta and Saskatchewan, followed by Atlantic Canada, Quebec and British Columbia, in that order. Alternately those who do believe they’re better off are likely to reside in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Manitoba/Saskatchewan and Alberta, in that order.

The survey also broke down these results by age and found that younger women are more likely to feel better off than their older counterparts. 44 per cent of women between 18 and 34 feel better off while 38 percent of women between 35-54 and 31 per cent of those above 55 feel better off.

With this survey question as well, the women most likely to say they felt better off are those in the highest income brackets. Forty-six per cent of those earning about $100,000 agreed they were better off compared with 38 per cent of those earning between $50-99,000 and 36 per cent of those earning $50,000 and less.

Do Canadian women feel Trudeau and his government have done a good job in creating better opportunities for women?

However, putting aside personal feelings of whether they’re doing better or worse than 2015, a majority of women felt the Liberals have done a good job of creating better opportunities for women.

Fifty-four per cent overall felt the Prime Minister and his government did well in creating better opportunities for women in all aspects of their lives. However only eight per cent felt that was very much the case.

Women who do believe this to be true based on what they’ve seen, heard or read are most likely to live in Atlantic Canada, followed by British Columbia, Ontario and Québec, and then Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan.

In terms of age, once again younger women were more likely to believe better opportunities have been created than their older counter parts.

The survey did not find any marked differences in income ranges, but there was a significant difference in levels of education. Sixty-five per cent of women with a university education pr higher believed better opportunities were available while 58 per cent of those with some post secondary education and 46 per cent with high school or less believed it to be the case.

The remaining 46 per cent of women who do not believe the Liberals have done a good job in creating better opportunities for them are most likely to hail from Manitoba/Saskatchewan, followed by those from Alberta, Ontario and Québec, British Columbia and Atlantic Canada.

Seventeen per cent, or one in five Canadian women don’t believe this perspective at all.