Let’s say you’re a single mom who works at a grocery store. How do you continue working now that COVID-19 has closed daycares and schools? How do you support yourself and your children?
The pandemic is intensifyingalready face throughout Canada, and research suggests that pandemics can on women’s incomes than men’s. Although federal and provincial aid and are encouraging, many women are still at risk of
Women living on a low income in Canada
Women make up 60 per cent of those in Canada who are, meaning that they report difficulty covering basic expenses and may need pay day loans or food banks to get by. The COVID-19 pandemic means new challenges to delivering support services for those who are struggling, such as that can’t meet demand, and closures of public services including schools, community centres, and libraries.
The Foundation supportsfor women to get into skilled trades and technology, start their own businesses, and participate in . These programs address the needs of women with particular barriers to employment, including newcomer women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit women; and women rebuilding their lives after abuse. Where programs might have to go on hold, participants’ journeys may also be on hold. It’s also likely there will be increased need for such job-training programs as predictions of an economic recession loom.
Women in precarious industries and jobs in Canada
With travel locked down, layoffs have already hitWorkers affected include , cooks, servers, and cleaners in travel and hospitality. As stores close or reduce hours, there are , are also women. Women in the already precarious and undervalued childcare sector have also stopped work as daycares are closed (except those serving ). Aside from industries shut down by COVID-19, women also make up the majority of Canada’s and These positions are precarious at the best of times.
As a Toronto Star column noted, our current circumstances spotlight how manyare crucial to our daily well-being. Health-care workers — including doctors, nurses, and paid caregivers — don’t have the privilege of isolating at home because we’re depending on them to deliver care. Cleaners, cashiers, and food-service workers also continue to play key roles in serving the public at grocery stores, drug stores, pharmacies, and other essential businesses and services that remain open.
Women facing a double burden of unpaid and paid work in Canada
In Canada,households are led by women, and they may be wondering how to keep working and . In general, statistics show that women in Canada carry and caregiving responsibilities than men, including child and elder care. Women are also more likely to and economic advancement opportunities to accommodate caregiving. “School closures and household isolation are moving the work of caring for children from the paid economy – nurseries, schools, babysitters — to the unpaid one,” says The Atlantic article As dual-earner couples juggle responsibilities, it’s likely that the partner who makes the least money will absorb increased unpaid caregiving — and may scale back their paid work to do so.
We don’t know how long COVID-19 will impact the world, but we do know thatwill play a key role in Canada’s economic recovery. We know we have to continue working for gender equality, and your continued support of the Canadian Women’s Foundation is more important than ever.