Budget 2018: A win for women. A win for Canada.
A gender-lens on the Federal Budget is a win for women, families, and Canada
27 February 2018
Today’s federal budget announcement recognizes the urgent need to address key equality issues for women, says YWCA Canada, the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization. Maintaining the commitment to quality, affordable child care, and the introduction of Use it or Lose It parental leave, are crucial investments in social services that will help support women, their families and communities. With new funding for sexual assault services and legal aid in response to #MeToo, doubled funding for women's organizations, and benchmarks for progress, this budget has a strong focus on gender equality.
For many years, YWCA Canada has recommended gender-based analysis of the federal budget with an intersectional approach to ensure all women benefit. A productive, prosperous, and vibrant Canadian economy requires deliberate federal government action to remedy gender-based economic and social inequity. That’s what increases productivity and equality.
Says Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada: “Gender equality is good for Canada. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for families and it’s good for women and girls. After years of slipping in global rankings, this is the change of direction we need.”
“Child care is an effective anti-poverty tool,” says Roy. “In Quebec, after introduction of low-cost child care, the number of single mothers on social assistance was cut in half and their incomes rose 80%. That’s women and children moving out of poverty.”
There’s clear evidence that Use It or Lose It leave vastly increases the number of men who take parental leave to spend time with young children. In Quebec, the only province with this policy in place, fathers taking or planning to take parental leave increased from 28% in 2005 to 86% per cent in 2015 (Statistics Canada). In the rest of Canada it’s only 12% of fathers, almost the same as in 2005.
For women and families across the country, universal affordable child care with an equity lens can’t come soon enough. Through increasing women’s employment, national universal child care has the potential to generate enough annual tax revenue to fully fund itself.
The investments announced today open the door to a productive, prosperous, and vibrant Canadian economy. YWCA Canada will be watching closely to ensure that the federal government’s commitment to improving economic equity for all Canadian women considers the full dimensions of inequality faced by Indigenous, Black, and other racialized women, newcomer women, and disabled women.
We are encouraged by today’s action by the federal government to remedy gender-based economic and social inequity. That’s what increases productivity and equality. It’s a win for women, families and Canada.
For interviews contact Laura Tilley, Manager, Communications & Marketing at 416-962-8881 x233
About YWCA Canada:
YWCA Canada is the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization. YWCA works in 300 communities across Canada to serve women and girls in nine provinces and two territories. YWCA Canada is the nation’s single largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence. For more information visit www.ywcacanada.ca, find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or at www.facebook.com/ywcacanada.