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 (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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Amplifying Women's Voices (2018)
Dr. Jane Arscott
After the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (RCSW) released their landmark report in 1970, a lot of time and resources were put into supporting women's organizations and establishing mechanisms to ensure their input into government decision-making. However, over the past two decades engagement between women’s organizations and Canadian policymakers has greatly diminished, which means many decisions are being made without accounting for the perspectives and ideas of Canada's diverse women. In the wake of the RCSW report's 50th anniversary, this briefing note outlines the many ways Canadian governments can support women and meaningfully (re)engage with women's organizations.
(Im)migrant Women in Canada (2018)
Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Sedef Arat-Koç & Christina Gabriel
Immigrant and migrant women—collectively (im)migrant women—contribute a lot to Canada socially, politically, and economically. They are caregivers for Canadians young and old, work in difficult jobs, volunteer in their communities, and start new businesses, among other things. Yet they face a steep uphill climb to qualify to come to Canada at all, then to attain secure immigration status, and while they are here they are denied protections and social supports that Canadian citizens take for granted. This policy briefing note explores these issues and proposes improvements to Canada’s immigration policies.
Senator Kim Pate
The fastest-growing prison population in Canada is racialized women, particularly Indigenous women. Who is labelled a criminal and imprisoned is usually determined by the relative privilege or lack thereof of those involved and the circumstances of the act – who does what, to whom, in what context – rather than the actual risk to public safety or likelihood of harm. This policy briefing note authored by Senator Kim Pate explains what causes the majority of incarcerated women to commit criminalized acts in the first place and makes a case for changing the way racialized women are treated within our justice system, which often fails to protect them.
Issue Background Papers