COVID-19: How Your Support Helps Women and Girls During the Pandemic
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Advocates Provide Crucial Recommendations for an Inclusive Action Plan for Women in the Economy 

On the 50th anniversary of the Release of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women report, support for women in the economy is greatly needed 

Toronto, ON — December 7, 2020. With the Throne Speech promise of an Action Plan for Women in the Economy, the federal government committed to ensuring an intersectional feminist response to economic recovery from the pandemic.  

Today, prominent gender justice advocates from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Ontario Nonprofit Network, have joined together to offer essential recommendations on how to make this inclusive plan a reality. 

December 7 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the report from the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, and since its release women have made huge gains in employment,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.  

“Women have become roughly half the workforce, but with the economic impact of the pandemic that’s in jeopardy, and key public policy gaps, such as access to affordable childcarecan’t wait.” 

The report outlines how women are being pushed out of paid work at historic rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those in precarious jobs and those who have to sacrifice paid hours for unpaid child and elder care.    

Centering marginalized women and focusing on initiatives in fragile women-majority sectors – many of them undervalued care sectors – can provide women with the broadest and deepest pandemic economic recovery. 

The report outlines two key approaches: 

  • Overcome barriers to women’s participation in paid employment, by investinin early learning and child care servicesviolence against women and gender-based violence services, and accommodations and supports for women with disabilities, and other women have struggled to find a foothold in the labour market. 
  • Create the public infrastructure necessary to spur the creation of decent work and shared prosperity for all, by investing in the care economy, including health care and elder care, ensuring decent work for those at the margins or left out of the labour marketmodernizing income security to protect women in today’s labour market, and reducing income inequality by expanding programs that support women in the workforce. 

“Supporting women to get back into the workforce will help strengthen the economy as a whole, and that’s good for everyone,” says Katherine Scott, Senior Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 

Read the report here (aussi disponible en français).  

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FOR INTERVIEWS WITH THE CANADIAN WOMEN’S FOUNDATION OR REPORT CO-AUTHORS, CONTACT: 

Kate Hawkins, Manager of PR and Online Engagement, Canadian Women’s Foundation media@canadianwomen.org, 416-365-1444 ext. 258 

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ABOUT THE CANADIAN WOMEN’S FOUNDATION 

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is a national leader in the movement for gender equality in Canada. Through funding, research, advocacy, and knowledge sharing, the Foundation works to achieve systemic change that includes all women. By supporting community programs, the Foundation empowers women and girls to move themselves out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. 

Launched in 1991 to address a critical need for philanthropy focused on women, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is one of the largest women’s foundations in the world. With the support of donors, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million and funded over 1,900 programs across the country. These programs focus on addressing the root causes of the most critical issues, and helping women and girls who face the greatest barriers. 

The Canadian Women’s Foundation aims to be inclusive of diverse people across gender and sexuality spectrums. We focus our efforts on supporting those who face the most barriers and have least access to relevant services. This includes people who identify as women, girls, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, and 2SLGBTQI+. 

Editor’s Note: When referring to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, please use the full name. Please do not abbreviate or use acronyms.