The Government of Canada has been committed to using Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) in the development of policies, programs, and legislation since 1995.Footnote 1 GBA Plus is an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA Plus acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences; GBA Plus also considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
Within the Government of Canada, GBA Plus provides a method to thoroughly examine how policies, programs, and initiatives could impact diverse groups of people, with the aim of attaining better results for Canadians by being more responsive to specific needs and circumstances.
To fulfill the Government of Canada's aim of ensuring that all people can participate fully in all spheres of Canadian life and contribute to an inclusive and democratic society, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has the responsibility to implement GBA Plus throughout its operations and its adjudicative work in accordance with its mandate.
The IRB is proud of the focus it has given to implementing GBA Plus in its policies and operations in recent years as part of its commitment to gender equity and to diversity. This has included the development and review of policy instruments such as Chairperson's Guideline 4 (Gender-related persecution) and Chairperson's Guideline 9 (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics); the modernization of identification practices pertaining to sex, gender, and identity, such as introducing a gender-diverse identifier; and the creation of the Refugee Protection Division's Gender Related Task Force. The IRB has also participated in the government-wide GBA Plus Implementation Survey and has internally promoted GBA Plus awareness and training opportunities to IRB employees.
The IRB is committed to GBA Plus. We will continue to identify needs and gaps across the organization, in line with the Board's capacity and mandate. Our goal is to become more inclusive and to reduce systemic bias by understanding the diverse needs of all employees, including Members, and people appearing before the Board, regardless of sex, gender, or identity.
The IRB has, therefore, developed the following policy statement to confirm the Board's continued commitment to GBA Plus:
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is committed to continue implementing Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) in its operations, policies, programs and initiatives, as well as monitoring the variation of how impacts may be experienced across genders in interaction with sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, age, mental or physical disability and other identity factors, whenever appropriate, in order to reflect the diversity within Canada's immigration and refugee determination systems while ensuring fair, effective, timely and well-reasoned decisions.