Equality between women and men in Québec
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Equality between women and men in Québec

Equality between women and men is a fundamental value of Québec society. Women and men have the same:

  • Rights
  • Obligations
  • Responsibilities in public and private life

Equality in couples and the family

Women and men have the right to marry or to enter into a common-law relationship with the person of their choice. Québec law considers marriage to be the union of two people of different sexes or the same sex.

The minimum age at which one can marry without the authorization of a court is 18.

A woman and a man living as a couple have the same rights and obligations toward one another and their children. They must share family responsibilities, such as:

  • The management of property and finances
  • The choice of the place of residence
  • The education of the children
  • The choice of the values that are important to the family
  • The rules of conduct

Any person may also choose to separate or divorce. In the event of divorce, women and men have the same rights and responsibilities.

Equality in the various spheres of society

Women and men are equal in the various spheres of society:

  • In education
  • On the labour market
  • In decision-making and political venues


The Québec education system is based on equality between women and men, and co-education. The criteria for admission to the various programs of study and training are the same for women and men. Access to the different education and training programs is egalitarian. The admission criteria are the same for everyone.

Labour market

Québec’s objective is equality between women and men on the labour market.

Women and men have access to the same jobs. They are entitled to the same salary and the same working conditions for equal work.

Employers may not discriminate on the basis of sex.

Women have the same economic autonomy as men. A woman may choose to live alone and earn money to meet her needs.

Women may, by themselves:

  • Vote in elections
  • Decide to marry and to divorce
  • Find a job
  • Run for election as a candidate
  • Sign contracts
  • Start a business, etc.

Decision-making and political venues

Québec’s objective is to achieve equal representation of women and men at all decision-making and political levels:

  • Local
  • Regional
  • National

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Last modification : 2019-12-27
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