Women and Poverty

Written by Marika Morris and updated Tahira Gonsalves
Fact Sheet
Year of publication:

Women and poverty are connected for many reasons. Various structural factors work towards making women more vulnerable to poverty, or to keeping them in poverty. Over the last decade, Canada has been moving towards a different model for its economy, drastically cutting social services. Despite seven years of budgetary surpluses, money is still not being chan- nelled back into these social services and the depth of poverty (that is the gap between the average income of the poor and the amount needed to bring their income up to the level of the low-income cut off) is worsening1 . Canada has signed international agree- ments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), but there still aren’t adequate guarantees to protect women’s rights in the country.

Women are also affected by poverty in different ways, depending upon their age, race, ethnicity, lin- guistic background, ability, sexual orientation, citizen- ship etc. Statistics provide some important indications of women’s poverty in Canada, but experiences of poverty are much more complex than the picture created by numbers alone. 

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