International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women’s social, economic, political and cultural achievements, and recommit ourselves to the actions necessary for gender equality. The 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is Break the Bias, while Canada’s labour movement is highlighting the gendered effects of the care economy.
Break the Bias challenges people of all genders to call out deliberate and unconscious biases that make it difficult for women to get ahead, where they encounter it.
Over the past year, the Globe and Mail reported extensively on what it calls the “power gap” between men and women. While “equal pay for equal work” has and continues to be an important principle for eliminating gender discrimination, the Globe dug into reams of data and found that women have a harder time rising through the ranks of their chosen professions than their male counterparts. This was true in public service occupations, as well as among lawyers and physicians. The gap between men and women persisted even when controlling for education, experience and areas of specialization. Whether deliberate or unconscious, this disparity comes down to a bias that must be broken down in order to achieve gender parity.
One of the most gendered parts of the global economy is among those who provide care to other people. The “care economy” includes people in many occupations, including early childhood educators, teachers, personal support workers, and nurses. But it also includes people who provide care but are not paid for their labour, whether it’s in service of children, elders or people with disabilities.
In Canada and around the world, people who provide care through paid or unpaid labour are predominantly women. In Canada, a disproportionate share of those women provide care are racialized.
In many ways, care work is the foundation of Canada’s entire economy. As the pandemic has demonstrated repeatedly, when care is unavailable parents and others — usually women — have to work less or give up work all together. While the pandemic accentuated this reality, underinvestment in the care economy has long been a drag on the Canadian economy.
To try to unleash the full potential of the economy, the federal government has reached agreements on providing expanded childcare at reduced cost with every province except for Ontario. This push towards a national childcare system has been a key demand of Canada’s labour movement. Building on the successful campaign for improved childcare across Canada, the country’s labour movement, led by the Canadian Labour Congress, is pushing for the federal government to invest in every facet of care, including long-term care for seniors.
IWD 2022 Events
International Women’s Day events are available online from communities across Ontario, Canada, and the world. There is a great diversity of themes and approaches to IWD events but many mix inspirational stories with information about current efforts to bring about gender equality and calls to join and support campaigns for women’s equality.
Find an event that interests you at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/EventSearch