Introduction to GBA Plus



The stereotyping or discrimination against individuals or groups based upon age. Ageism can take many forms including prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices or institutional policies and practices that perpetuate stereotypical attitudes. For example, discriminatory hiring practices that exclude older workers based upon the belief that they do not have the skills required for a job.
Assumptions consist of beliefs or ideas that individuals hold to be true and are often based on little or no evidence.

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Barriers are those things that prevent movement, or make access to a service more difficult for certain groups and individuals.

Barriers exist at different levels, and may be personal, cultural, institutional and structural.
Bias (Explicit)
Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Bias (Unconscious/Implicit)
Refers to the unconscious assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and stereotypes that human brains have about different groups. These learned mental shortcuts affect how we perceive and respond to people. Unconscious biases prevent us from seeing fairly and accurately the information or the people in front of us. Much research shows that unconscious biases systematically disadvantage already disadvantaged people and provide un-earned advantages to those already advantaged.
Beijing Platform for Action

The United Nations held the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995. The Beijing Platform for Action marked the first major global commitment to “gender mainstreaming” as a way to accelerate women's empowerment and end gender discrimination. The declaration cites the commitment among governments to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere and to ensuring that a gender perspective is reflected in all policies and programs.

*For more information see:

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Central Agencies
Within the Government of Canada, the Privy Council Office (PCO), the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and the Department of Finance (FIN) are known as the central agencies.

The central agencies play a “challenge function” role for the application GBA Plus across government and may request evidence of GBA Plus in documents going to Cabinet for approval, such as a Memorandum to Cabinet or Treasury Board Submission.
A person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth.

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Any impairment, including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment — or a functional limitation — whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.

This definition is in keeping with the social model of disability. In contrast to the medical model of disability, which has historically been dominant and views disability solely as an underlying medical condition or impairment, the social model highlights the role of environmental factors (e.g., physical, technological, and attitudinal barriers) in limiting an individual’s daily activities and social participation. In other words, a medical diagnosis is insufficient to understand disability; we also need to look at the barriers and the lived experiences of persons with disabilities, including the discrimination that persons with disabilities face.

Disaggregated data
Disaggregated data refers to data broken down by age, race, ethnicity, income, education, etc. This is sometimes referred to as sex- or gender-disaggregated data.
The denial of equal treatment and opportunity to individuals or groups because of personal characteristics and membership in specific groups, with respect to education, accommodation, health care, employment and access to services, goods and facilities. Behaviour that results from distinguishing people on that basis without regard to individual merit, resulting in unequal outcomes for persons who are perceived as different. Differential treatment that may occur on the basis of race, nationality, religion, ethnic affiliation.
Diverse groups of people

Groups of people are not homogeneous. A variety of factors such as ethnicity, socio-economic status, ability, sexual orientation, migration status, age, faith, gender identity and geography interact with sex and gender to contribute to different lived experiences.

A term used to encompass all the various national, racial, ethnic, religious and other backgrounds of people within a group, organization, or society. The dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, ancestry, culture, ethnicity, language, race, religion, and socio-economic status.

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Elders are respected individuals who play key roles in Indigenous communities. They are important knowledge keepers, and they also help to ensure cultural continuity. As living connections to the past, Elders serve as teachers, healers, advisors, and counsellors. Elder knowledge is culturally specific, meaning Anishinaabeg teachings, for example, are not necessarily Haudenosaunee teachings. However, Elders share some commonalities; for instance, spirituality and tradition shape their lives as well as the guidance they provide to others
Ethnicity is a broader term than race. The term is used to categorize groups of people according to their cultural expression and identification. Commonalities such as racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin may be used to describe someone's ethnicity.

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Flexible approach
A flexible approach, sometimes referred to as an integrated approach, involves considering and incorporating the range of needs and circumstances of diverse populations into a policy, program or initiative.

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Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus)
GBA Plus is an analytical tool to support the development of responsive and inclusive initiatives, including policies, programs, and other initiatives. GBA Plus is a process for understanding who is impacted by the issue being addressed by the initiative; identifying how the initiative could be tailored to meet diverse needs of the people most impacted; and anticipating and mitigating any barriers to accessing or benefitting from the initiative.
Gender-based Analysis Plus
GBA Plus is an analytical tool to support the development of responsive and inclusive initiatives, including policies, programs, and other initiatives. GBA Plus is a process for understanding who is impacted by the issue being addressed by the initiative; identifying how the initiative could be tailored to meet diverse needs of the people most impacted; and anticipating and mitigating any barriers to accessing or benefitting from the initiative.
GBA Plus reflex
Having a GBA Plus reflex means that considering intersectional factors has become a routine and automatic part of your work and thought process.
Socially- constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender-diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact, the distribution of power and resources in society, and people’s social, health and economic outcomes
Gender equality
Gender equality refers to equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women, men and non-binary people. Equality refers to the state of being equal while equity refers to the state of being just, impartial or fair. However, equality of opportunity by itself does not guarantee equal outcomes for women, men and non-binarypeople.
Gender equity
Gender equity refers to fairness, impartiality and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women, men and non-binary people. Unlike gender equality, which simply provides for equality of opportunity, gender equity explicitly recognizes and actively promotes measures to address historical and social disadvantages. By ‘levelling the playing field,’ gender equity creates circumstances through which gender equality can be achieved. Gender equity means providing all social actors with the means to take advantage of equality of opportunity.
Gender expression
Gender expression refers to the various ways in which people choose to express their gender identity. For example: clothes, voice, hair, make-up, etc. A person’s gender expression may not align with societal expectations of gender. It is therefore not a reliable indicator of a person’s gender identity.
Gender identity
Gender identity is how people perceive themselves with respect to their gender. Gender identity is not confined to a binary (girl/woman, boy/man) nor is it static; it exists along a continuum and can change over time. There is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience and express gender through the roles they take on, the expectations placed on them, relations with others and the complex ways that gender is institutionalized in society.
Gender mainstreaming
Gender mainstreaming consists of an institutional policy and program strategy that seeks to integrate women's concerns into all aspects and sectors of activity. This term is most often used in an international context.
Gender neutral
Gender neutral refers to programs, policy and language that are free of explicit or implicit reference to gender or sex.
Gender roles
Gender roles are the culturally defined expectations of people based on their gender.
Gender sensitivity refers to being aware that there are both biological and gender differences between diverse groups of people and including sex and gender as socially important variables.

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Historical disadvantage
Throughout history, diverse groups of women and men have faced both formal and social barriers and disadvantages in particular societies, based on gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and so on.

Historical disadvantage refers to this systemic circumstance or condition.
Of the same kind or nature; essentially alike.

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Impact is the influence or effect of public policy.
Revenue an individual receives from employment, social assistance, pension, investments or other sources.
Income distribution
The distribution of a population according to income level. Considerations of income inequality examine the shares of the population at lower versus higher levels of income, or the share of the population that falls below certain income thresholds.
Indicators refer to the types of results that a policy, program or service wants to achieve. Indicators explain how you are going to measure and monitor the achievements of the desired changes, quantitatively or qualitatively.
Indigenous languages
Indigenous languages refer to the many and diverse languages spoken by Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. While the identities, lives and futures of Indigenous peoples have been immeasurably affected by the forced removal of their languages, where three quarters of the 90 living Indigenous languages in Canada are identified by UNESCO as endangered, there have been and continue to be significant efforts and progress achieved in maintaining and revitalizing Indigenous languages in Canada. Indigenous languages hold the keys to irreplaceable, intelligent worldviews and intimate understandings about the environment, intergenerational education, and Canada’s history. The Indigenous Languages Act supports and promotes the reclamation, revitalization, maintaining and strengthening of Indigenous languages in Canada.
Intersecting factors
People are members of more than one community at the same time and live multiple, layered identities.  For example, a woman who is also a new immigrant and a senior can be viewed as belonging to three separate identity groups. Intersecting factors refers to the point where these ‘conditions’ overlap or intersect to create opportunities and/or barriers.
Intersex is a general term used for a variety of situations in which a person is born with external sex characteristics that do not fit the binary medical categories typically used to classify “female” or “male.” There are lots of ways someone can be intersex. Some intersex people have genitals or internal sex organs that fall outside the male/female categories — such as a person with both ovarian and testicular tissues. Other intersex people have combinations of chromosomes that are different than XY (usually associated with male) and XX (usually associated with female), like XXY. Some people are born with external genitals that fall into the typical male/female categories, such as people with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS), but their internal organs or hormones do not. Intersex people may or may not identify with their sex assigned at birth.

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In Canada, LGBTQ2 is often used to refer to individuals who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two Spirit. There are many different acronyms that may be used in different contexts to represent these individuals. It should be noted that these acronyms represent both sexual identities and gender identities. It is also important to note that LGBTQ2 communities are diverse, and that language and terminology are constantly evolving. While these terms and definitions are generally accepted today, they may continue to evolve over time.

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Marginalization is a long-term, structural process of systemic discrimination that creates disadvantaged groups
People and/or groups who are relegated to an unimportant or powerless position within a society.

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Natural disasters
Environmental events, not (directly) human made, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, cyclones, epidemics, drought, and famine.
(sometimes referred to as ‘genderqueer’) refers to a person whose gender identity does not align with a binary understanding of gender such as man or woman. “Non-binary” is a gender identity which may include man and woman, androgynous, fluid, multiple, no gender, or a different gender outside of the “woman—man” binary.

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Official language minority communities (OLMCs):
Communities whose primary or first spoken language is an official language but is not the same language spoken by the majority of people in their province or geographic area. Examples of areas with OLMCs include the Acadian peninsula; Hearst and Prescott-Russell, in Ontario; and West Island of Montreal, in Quebec. OLMCs can be a source of vulnerability and marginalization. For example, Francophones outside of Quebec or New Brunswick may experience barriers to education, employment or services due to a lack of proficiency in English or lack of services in French in their area. It is important to consider both OLMCs and broader linguistic power dynamics when conducting your GBA Plus.
Outcomes refer to the results that would be necessary to achieve the operational objectives of a policy, program or service.
Oppression is the unjust use of power to disempower, marginalize, silence or otherwise subordinate specific groups or categories, often in order to further empower and/or privilege the oppressors.

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The concept of race is a "social construct." This means that society forms ideas around the idea of race based on perceived physical traits, as well as geographic, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors, as well as, even though none of these can legitimately be used to classify groups of people.
The process through which a group of people come to be defined as a “race” based on physical characteristics, ethnicity, language, economics, religion, culture, politics and other characteristics. Processes of racialization begin by attributing racial meaning to people’s identity and, in particular, as they relate to social structures and institutional systems, such as employment or education.
Defined broadly, religion typically involves a particular and comprehensive system of faith and worship. Religion also tends to involve the belief in a divine, superhuman or controlling power. In essence, religion is about freely and deeply held personal convictions or beliefs connected to an individual's spiritual faith and integrally linked to one's self-definition and spiritual fulfilment, the practices of which allow individuals to foster a connection with the divine or with the subject or object of that spiritual faith.

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Refers to a set of biological attributes in humans and animals. It is primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy. Sex is usually categorized as female or male but there is variation in the biological attributes that comprise sex and how those attributes are expressed.
Sex (assigned) at birth
refers to the label one is given at birth based on physiological factors, including hormones, chromosomes, and genitals. Most people are assigned male or female, as per socially constructed and medicalized standards, which is what is put on birth certificates. The assignment of a biological sex upon an newborn infant, based on visible/external sex characteristics, may or may not align with internal, hormonal and/or chromosomal sex characteristics, as well as how they feel or eventually identify with age.
Sex-disaggregated data
Sex-disaggregated refers to the collection of statistics that are presented by sex to show the respective data for women and men separately.
Sexual Orientation
A term used to describe a person’s emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction.
Systemic discrimination
Systemic discrimination refers to a system-wide, yet often subtle, form of discrimination. It consists of distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of one’s belonging to a category of people. This can apply to gender, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, etc. It is often a mixture of intentional and unintentional actions that will have a more serious effect (or a disproportionate impact) on one group than on others.

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Targeted approach
A targeted approach involves taking measures to meet specific identified needs, or to prevent a group from being negatively affected by a policy, program or initiative.
A person who does not identify, either fully or in part with the gender associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. It is often used as an umbrella term to represent a wide range of gender identities
Transsexual is a term that is no longer commonly used, though may be more frequently used by transgender individuals of an older cohort. The term defines a person whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth, who has undertaken physical transition which may include medical and/or surgical interventions. The term has fallen out of favour as it implies that physical transition is necessary in order to claim a trans identity.
is a term that describes non heterosexual and/or non-cisgender Indigenous sexual and gender expressions. The term comes from the Northern Algonquin word niizh manitoag, meaning two spirits. The term Two-spirit represents the presence of masculine and feminine traits within an individual.

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