The Quebec government has released the results of a study that found it is more difficult for women to report abnormal pap smears in Quebec than it is in other provinces.
The Quebec Human Rights Commission said the results suggest women in Quebec face a higher risk of stigmatization, harassment and discrimination for reporting an abnormal pap smear.
“It is not a joke,” said Marguerite Bélanger, an assistant professor of law at McGill University.
BéLanger said the Quebec Human Right Commission study is the first to examine whether abnormal pap results have an effect on women’s rights. “
We think this is a real problem and we have to get to the bottom of it.”
BéLanger said the Quebec Human Right Commission study is the first to examine whether abnormal pap results have an effect on women’s rights.
The report said the average annual income of a Quebec woman with a normal Pap smear is $5,000.
But if she has an abnormal Pap smear, the average is $2,000, and the average income for women with abnormal Pap smears is $1,000 per year.
The average annual earnings of a woman with an abnormal, abnormal Pap sample is $20,000 and the mean annual income for an abnormal sample is more than $60,000 annually.
Quebec’s Liberal government has been criticized for failing to address the issue.
Quebec Justice Minister Anne Marie Aikins defended the province’s treatment of women, saying the results reflect the need to be inclusive of all women.
“I think the fact that Quebec has a higher rate of abnormal Pap testing, it’s an indicator that we need to improve the way that we handle this,” she said.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Quebec is hearing an appeal from a group of women who say the Quebec government discriminated against them for reporting abnormal Pap results.
The ruling is expected later this month.
Aikens said the tribunal will have to look at whether the province was acting within its powers under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Quebec must protect and uphold the right of all Quebecers to have a healthy, healthy society, one that respects all Quebec people.”