This year on International Women’s Day let’s take a moment to think about how Covid-19 has and continues to disproportionately affect women.
On the economic front, the pandemic saw women lose their jobs more quickly than men, triggering a “she-cession.” Women more often work in schools, childcare centres, hotels, restaurants and retail shops, the very sectors mostly affected by Covid-19 related closures. Also, without access to affordable child care programs, women have a difficult time in returning to work.
Women are also at forefront of the fight against Covid-19. The majority of health care workers such as nurses, home support and nursing home workers are women. Also the majority of retail workers are women. These workers put their lives at risk every day as these jobs cannot be performed from a distance during the pandemic. Many of these workers earn a poverty level wage and do not have access to paid sick days.
According to the International Labour Organization, women throughout the world do three times more unpaid caregiving work than men. This includes domestic chores, caring for the children and unpaid caregiving for parents. Covid-19, brought with it, a new balancing act of work, family and household responsibilities for New Brunswick women.
New Brunswick’s economic recovery plan must include fixing child care as one of its key aspects. It must also allow for improved wages and working conditions for front line caregiving and retail workers. All workers should have access to 10 paid sick days a year and should be earning at a minimum, $15 per hour.
This year, unfortunately, we cannot come together to celebrate women’s achievements and focus on the work ahead of us to achieve women’s equality. Hence there are virtual events being organized. The Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Regional Women’s Committee is partnering with a local Moncton-based company C3 Leadership who is planning a virtual celebration on March 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $116 and are available at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2021-international-womens-day-choosetochallenge-tickets-140367030567?aff=ebdssbeac. It is themed “How to Thrive in the 21st Century and Beyond” and offers virtual networking opportunities in breakout rooms. Proceeds of the event will be going to the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre.
For additional information please contact:
NBFL Vice-President responsible for Women’s Issues
(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)