The province is scrubbing its regulations of gender-based language in an effort to make regulations more inclusive. The province says the changes will allow more people to see themselves in government regulations.
Specifically, they’ve removed 741 uses of what they call ‘outdated gendered language’ across 16 ministries. It’s the most in a single year since the province started the annual process called Better Regulations for British Columbians. So far, the total number of changes sits at around 1,300.
90-percent of the words removed were binary pronouns like she/he, or himself/herself, with the other 10-percent being gender-specific terms like aunt, father, or son. Along with gender-based language, they’ve also shifted general terms that they consider outdated. The example they give is changing the use of “substance abuse” to “substance use.”
Minister of Jobs Ravi Kahlon says inclusive language matters.
“Inclusive language matters, and by reframing language, we’re helping people from all walks of life feel included and supporting more British Columbians to reach their full potential,” says Kahlon. “We’re committed to making sure the words we use better reflect the diversity and people of our province.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Grace Lore says the change also protects people’s rights.
Lore says, “It’s a way for government to make life a bit easier for the thousands of British Columbians who face unnecessary barriers due to outdated language and to help address gender bias.”