Reality Check: Five Missing Priorities on International Women’s Day 2016
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister told an audience of elites in Davos that “ensuring gender parity and the advancement of women’s rights should be a given in 2016.”
We couldn’t agree more. And to help the government make good on their commitment, we’re offering a list of five simple ways the Liberals can celebrate International Women’s day through action to improve women’s lives:
- Affordable childcare: In the heady days of campaign 2015, the Liberal platform promised action on childcare within the first 100 days. More than four months later, Canadian families are still waiting while the costs of childcare keep climbing.
- End violence against women: No one fleeing violence should be left without a place to turn. But the Liberals haven’t revealed what they will actually invest in shelters and transition houses – and there’s no timeline yet on a plan to create a federal gender violence strategy.
- Employment Insurance: In 2016, women in Canada are far more likely to be in precarious work and far less likely to have access to EI when they lose their jobs. But the Liberals voted against a motion to set a universal access threshold of 360 hours, which would have made EI benefits available to thousands of unemployed women.
- Full access to reproductive healthcare: Canadian women continue to face major barriers to access abortion services – many have to travel hours to reach facilities, and in PEI abortion services are not provided at all. Equalizing access can’t wait – but despite the prime minister’s pro-choice words, there’s been no action from the government so far.
- Pay equity: Women in Canada are still earning only 72% of what men earn for work of equal value. While it’s great to see the Liberals support the creation of a special committee to look into the pay gap and make recommendations, nothing short of legislative change will get the job done.
This International Women’s Day, Canadian women deserve real action – because it’s 2016.