At this stage of the pandemic, new survey suggests circumstances have not improved for caregivers
Mothers’ health and careers continue to be disproportionately impacted
Toronto, ON – May 5, 2022 – The COVID-19 pandemic has created deeper challenges for mothers and caregivers, especially those facing discrimination related to race, disability, immigration status, gender identity, being a single parent, or having a child with special needs.
When The Canadian Women’s Foundation launched The Mother Rising in 2021 with a national poll, it heard many mothers and caregivers were nearing their breaking point. They were overworked, overwhelmed, and undervalued; their mental health was suffering; and the pandemic’s burdens were even greater for those experiencing poverty, discrimination, and gender-based violence. The Foundation revisited the national poll this year and, despite changes to pandemic-related protections, the April 2022 survey suggests circumstances have not improved for caregivers. Moms are disproportionately being impacted, especially when it comes to their health and careers.
At this stage of the pandemic, forty-four percent of moms have reached their breaking point, compared with 32% of dads.* Almost half of moms (48%) are reaching their breaking point, compared with 46% of moms in 2021.
A significantly higher percentage of moms are concerned about their physical health this year (67%) than last year (55%). Three in five moms are concerned about their emotional well-being (67%) and their mental health (62%). Moms continue to be significantly more likely than dads to feel anxious and sad. And those feelings aren’t diminishing much for moms: In 2022, 41% of moms felt anxious (43% in 2021) and 24% of moms felt sad (26% in 2021).
Two in five moms (37%) have put their career on the back burner to manage home and caregiving responsibilities. Nearly half of moms (47%) find it exhausting to balance work and childcare responsibilities.
Compared to last year, significantly more moms than dads agree that they do more work than their spouse when it comes to caregiving. Sixty-eight percent of moms said they are doing more than their spouse to manage caregiving dependents’ schedules and activities (compared with 23% of dads). Fifty-eight percent of moms said they are doing more than their spouse to support caregiving dependents’ education (compared with 23% of dads). And 57% percent of moms said they are doing more than their spouse to make arrangements for caregiving dependents when schools are closed or children are ill (compared with 22% of dads).
Thirty-nine percent of moms are struggling to keep up with their work demands, compared to 25% of dads; this number has increased significantly for moms (up from 28% in 2021).
The vast majority of moms (96%) agree that mothers and caregivers have been significantly impacted by the pandemic and need more support.
This Mother’s Day, the Canadian Women’s Foundation is empowering mothers and caregivers to rise. That means funding important community programs throughout Canada that remove barriers for women, gender-diverse people, mothers, and caregivers. That means funding programs to help them move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. It’s also important for these programs to include wraparound supports that make them more accessible (like childcare, food, and transit). And it’s also part of the Foundation’s work to do the advocacy and policy work necessary to create meaningful change that will benefit mothers and caregivers, and that will build gender justice in Canada.
Here’s how to help mothers and caregivers get the support they need today.
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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, we work to achieve systemic change. We support women, girls, and gender-diverse people to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership.
Since 1991, our generous donors and supporters have contributed more than $150 million to fund over 2,500 life-transforming programs throughout Canada.
Editor’s Note: When referring to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, please use the full name. Please do not abbreviate or use acronyms.
Maru/Matchbox conducted a survey on behalf of The Canadian Women’s Foundation. The survey was conducted from April 20th to 21st, 2022 among a representative sample of n=1,506 Canadians. The sample was weighted to census.
Released by Maru Public Opinion, this research was conducted by Maru/Matchbox who used its panel and data services provider Maru/Blue to survey a randomly selected sample of Canadians who are members of its Voice Canada online panel, and then weighted the results to be nationally representative.
*This question was not asked last year; comparative data is not available