A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada: Making the Economy Work for Everyone

The COVID-19 pandemic has had enormous impacts in Canada and around the world. Globally, hundreds of thousands of people have tragically lost their lives to the illness since the year began.4 The pandemic has also had powerful economic consequences and securing the future of Canada’s economy is now top of mind for Canadian residents—whether they have lost their job, shuttered their business or are serving as frontline workers in essential services.

2020 is the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive set of globally agreed-upon recommendations to advance gender equality.5 What might have been the moment to reflect on how far we have come as an international community may become the year that the gains to advance gender equality over the last few decades unravel. Without attention to inequity in post-pandemic recovery, a potential decline in our achievements is a real threat, given the gendered economic, health and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across all aspects of society.

A paradigm shift is afoot. A broader range of people across Canada are now seeing the importance of feminized and racialized labour for our health and well-being—where women, especially women of colour and recent immigrants, are leading the response to a major health crisis and preventing further economic and social fallout. However, there was much that was not working before COVID-19. It took a pandemic for the country to see what was already broken. We cannot ignore the historical context that has created the unstable foundation for the harms we are seeing play out in this current crisis.
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  • Dorothy Cassella
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