The feminization of poverty.
In a decade when many Canadians are earning less money than in the past, women are among the worst off. In 1992, women made only 61.7% of what men made. For men, the median income (the exact halfway point between the highest and lowest incomes) was $25,100. For women it was $15,500, $9,600 less. While this marked a gain of 4% over 1991 earnings, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women The National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) is a Canadian feminist activist organization. NAC was founded in 1971 as a pressure group to lobby for the implementation of the 167 recommendations made in the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada's 1970 (NACSW NACSW North American Association of Christian Social Workers ) reported at the same time that 'the lives of the majority of Canadian women continue to get harder, many women are poorer this year and their working conditions are deteriorating de·te·ri·o·rate
v. de·te·ri·o·rat·ed, de·te·ri·o·rat·ing, de·te·ri·o·rates
To diminish or impair in quality, character, or value: ."
Its report, Review of the Situation of Women in Canada in 1992, added that only a fraction of women -- white and well-educated -- are gaining, but at a "glacial gla·cial
a. Of, relating to, or derived from a glacier.
b. Suggesting the extreme slowness of a glacier: Work proceeded at a glacial pace.
The study also found:
* More women than ever are in the work force. In January 1992, 56% of women over 15 -- about 6 million -- were employed. That's about 45% of the labour force;
* In January 1992, the unemployment rate for women was 10.1%, up from 9.3% in 1991, with the greatest jump among those with less than Grade 9.
* Between 1981 and 1987, women's service-sector wages fell by 10% across the country, and 84% of working women are employed in that sector.
* In Quebec, from September to October 1991 27,000 of 28,000 jobs lost in the service sector were held by women.
* Women's under-employment or involuntary involuntary adj. or adv. without intent, will, or choice. Participation in a crime is involuntary if forced by immediate threat to life or health of oneself or one's loved ones, and will result in dismissal or acquittal.
INVOLUNTARY. part-time work jumped 41% over the previous two years. In the same period, fewer women reported wanting part-time work.
At the same time, the Conservative federal government eliminated universal family allowances; cancelled promised child-care programs; placed restrictions on the entry of foreign domestic workers; cut training programs for women not in the workforce; and, cancelled funding for cooperative housing cooperative housing n. an arrangement in which an association or corporation owns a group of housing units and the common areas for the use of all the residents. , according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the NACSW report.
A Statistics Canada report, Women in Canada, explains that the growing numbers of women living without spouses has added to the feminization feminization /fem·i·ni·za·tion/ (fem?i-ni-za´shun)
1. the normal development of primary and secondary sex characters in females.
2. the induction or development of female secondary sex characters in the male. of low income in Canada. Together with female lone-parent families, women who live alone, particularly elderly women, made up a disproportionately dis·pro·por·tion·ate
Out of proportion, as in size, shape, or amount.
dispro·por large share of those with low incomes by the mid-1980s.
Statistics Canada says that lone-parent families, both male and female, have average incomes substantially less than those of husband-wife families. However, the difference is enormous for women on their own: female and male lone-parent families earned $18,945 and $38,891 respectively, compared with $48,708 for husband-wife families in 1987. And, although husband-wife and male lone-parent families have attained or exceeded pre-recession income levels (1981), this has not yet happened for female lone-parent families. Not surprisingly more lone-parent families headed by women are below Statistics Canada's low income cut-offs.
The financial problems of divorced women are due partly to the fact that fewer than 20% of men who walk out continue to help support their children. According to Statistics Canada, the average amount of alimony alimony, in law, allowance for support that an individual pays to his or her former spouse, usually as part of a divorce settlement. It is based on the common law right of a wife to be supported by her husband, but in the United States, the Supreme Court in 1979 and child support received by families in 1988 was $4,600 a year, before taxes, or $383 a month. On average, this accounted for only 15% of the family income.
The report points out that pension income is generally lower for women, leaving elderly, unattached women among the poorest Canadians. In 1987, their average income was $13,596, 75% of the average for unattached women aged 15-64, and 85% of the average for elderly, unattached men. That year, 274,000 of 626,000 elderly, unattached Canadian women, or 44%, had incomes below the low-income cut-offs (1978 base).
Most Canadians who have jobs contribute to and are eligible for Canada or Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) pensions and benefits. But, to qualify for these programs you have to be part of the labour force. Benefits depend on the length of time worked and the size of contributions, fewer women receive benefits, and the benefits they do receive are less than those of men.
Participation in private pension plans also is lower for women. This is because they are concentrated in both part-time work and in industries where pension plan coverage is less extensive than in industries where men predominate. Furthermore, the effectiveness of these plans is weakened weak·en
tr. & intr.v. weak·ened, weak·en·ing, weak·ens
To make or become weak or weaker.
weaken·er n. by a variety of restrictions. These include: a general lack of pension portability from job to job; the difficulty of splitting benefits upon divorce; inflation; and limited or sometimes non-existent benefits for spouses if the recipient dies.
Poor paying jobs, involuntary part-time work, unemployment, poor child-care, cuts in social programs, and lower pension incomes all add up to a bleak The bleak is a small pelagic fish of the Cyprinid family. Description
The body of the bleak is elongated and flat. The head is pointed and the relatively small mouth is turned upwards. The anal fin is long and has 18 to 23 fin rays. The lateral line is complete. picture for almost half of Canada's labour force.
1. It's been said that the highest hourly pay rate women can earn is in prostitution prostitution, act of granting sexual access for payment. Although most commonly conducted by females for males, it may be performed by females or males for either females or males. . Discuss what this says about our society.
2. Appoint a team of students to investigate your province's employment laws and write a report on equal-pay-for-work-of-equal-value legislation. Try for class consensus on whether the laws go far enough in protecting the rights of women.