Policy Briefing Notes

To support civil society organizations in their advocacy work, including women's and feminist organizations, the Policy 4 Women team has put together a series of policy briefing notes on the topics that are most relevant to women in Canada today. Each briefing note examines how women are affected by the issue, what has been done in the past to address the issue, and what can be done moving forward to improve equity and outcomes for women.

Early Childhood Education and Care policy briefing note

Early Childhood Education and Care (2017)

Tara McWhinney & Kerry McCuaig

The first in a series of policy briefing notes, Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) examines why access to quality ECEC services is so important to women, what governments have done in the past to support ECEC services, and provides recommendations on critical next steps to both expand and improve these services in order to further women’s equity in Canada. A must-read for policymakers, women’s organizations, parents, and ECEC workers!

Interested in ECEC issues in Canada? Be sure to also check out “The Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce” briefing note!


Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce policy briefing note

The Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce (2017)

Kerry McCuaig & Tara McWhinney

A follow-up to Policy 4 Women’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), the ECEC Workforce policy briefing note delves into an industry where women outnumber men 24:1 and face a reality of low wages, poor working conditions, and little job security. All while caring for and educating Canada’s most precious citizens—our children.

Once again, Policy 4 Women researchers present practical steps our governments can take to strengthen the ECEC workforce and improve conditions. A recommended read for policymakers, women’s organizations, ECEC workers, and parents!


Funding for Women's Organizations policy briefing note

Funding for Women's Organizations (2017)

Lisa Boucher & Tara McWhinney

Feminist and women’s organizations fill many important roles in Canadian society, providing advocacy, services, and opportunities that support equity for diverse women. But they are increasingly forced to operate under conditions that hollow out their ability to achieve their objectives and, in the worst cases, close their doors permanently. Policy 4 Women’s “Funding for Women’s Organizations” policy briefing note takes a closer look at the current landscape, how we got here, and what is required to revive the critical work performed by women’s organizations from coast, to coast, to coast.


Gender Equality & The Royal Commission on the Status of Women policy briefing note

Gender Equality & The Royal Commission on the Status of Women (2017)

Dr. Jane Arscott

The year 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women’s groundbreaking report on the conditions of women’s lives in Canada and recommendations on a path towards gender equality and gender justice. This policy briefing note outlines the work undertaken by the RCSW, takes stock of what we have accomplished since then, and calls for a renewed effort of analysis and action given the many challenges women continue to face, not just in Canada but in countries that Canada partners with on trade, security, and environmental protection.

Valuing Unpaid Work in the Home Policy Briefing Note

Valuing Unpaid Work in the Home (2017)

Meg Luxton

Women in Canada still perform the bulk of unpaid labour in the home. This reality often negatively affects the economic security of women and their households, yet governments in Canada have done little to address the situation. Policymakers could implement a number of policies and programs that would improve the opportunities available to women, the economic security of Canadian households, and our economy overall.


Issue Background Papers

Coming soon!