Budget 2011: It’s time to include women
Canadian Federation of University Women call out the Government’s failure on equality
OTTAWA, March 17, 2011 – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) want women’s inequality addressed in the upcoming federal budget. “We need a budget for Canadian women and families,” said CFUW National President Brenda Wallace. “We are worried that the deficit will be used as an excuse to continue to ignore the problems facing women. The burdens of the recession and cuts to social programs have been made on the backs of women; it’s time to put women back in the budget.”
CFUW has urged the government to focus on key issues that address the economic and gender inequality that has grown deeper over the past five years. Canadian women desperately need commitments to child care, affordable housing and pension reform to address poverty and women’s economic security.
The 2011 budget will follow the fifth anniversary of the cancellation of the child care agreements between the provinces and Ottawa. “It is time for the government to include child care in the budget,” said Wallace, “Lack of affordable and quality child care affect women’s ability to access the workforce as well as post secondary education and training.” The Harper Government’s Universal Child Care Benefit has not created new child care spaces nor helped families who cannot afford or access quality child care.
Access to affordable housing is another issue that would have a huge impact on women. “A national housing strategy is urgently needed to address Canada’s housing crisis,” Wallace insists. “Affordable housing will help lift families out of poverty, and give women the independence and economic security needed to help them leave violent situations.”
Persistent wage gaps, higher participation in part-time, contract and unpaid work make women more likely than men to be poor. This inequality follows many women into their old age. Ms. Wallace advocated that “Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement by 15% will raise all seniors above the poverty line. Raising the GIS will give seniors their dignity back, and stimulate the economy.”
Without spending in key areas like childcare and a national housing strategy, women’s economic inequality will continue. This budget is an opportunity to build a prosperous and inclusive future for all Canadians, CFUW hopes that women will be a part of it.
CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded, non-governmental organization of about 10,000 women university graduates in 118 Clubs across Canada. CFUW works to improve the status of women and girls, education, peace, and human rights. CFUW holds special consultative status at the United Nations and serves on the Sectoral Committee on Education of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. CFUW is the largest of 67 national affiliates of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).
Contact: Robin Jackson, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of University Women
613 234 8252