Canada makes history with an unprecedented global investment in the care economy and women’s rights
June 30, 2021 – OTTAWA – Today Prime Minister Trudeau took bold action in support of a global feminist economic recovery by announcing $100 million in new international assistance funding dedicated to paid and unpaid care work at the Generation Equality Forum, the largest multi-sector gathering on women’s rights in the world. This is the first targeted global investment in the care economy by a donor government.
This international assistance commitment, alongside Canada’s historic $30 billion commitment to build a national early learning and child care system in the 2021 federal budget, shows the government sees investment in the care economy – in areas such as childcare, eldercare and decent working conditions for domestic workers – as essential components to both Canada and the world’s pandemic economic recovery strategies.
“In this critical time when the world is seeking to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, Canada’s investment in care is timely as care work makes other work possible,” said Nicolas Moyer, CEO of Cooperation Canada. “The feminist recovery in Canada and everywhere in the world requires strong and effective leadership as demonstrated by Canada today.”
COVID-19 exposed how important care is for our society and our economy, while also demonstrating just how fragile the care sector is. Heavy and unequal care responsibilities remain one of the most significant barriers to gender equality across the world. According to the International Labour Organization, even before the pandemic hit 42 per cent of women of working age said they were unable to do paid work because of their unpaid care responsibilities such as care-giving activities and domestic chores like cleaning and cooking – compared to just 6 per cent of men.
Oxfam, along with global allies, have been calling for a multi-million-dollar investment in programs that will help recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work, freeing up women’s time and creating more opportunities for work and political and community participation. Investing in both paid and unpaid care, in Canada and around the world, will support women’s rights and makes good economic sense.
This $100 million commitment has the potential to support initiatives that advocate for the rights of care workers, create and improve care infrastructure and support programs which foster positive social norms around men and women’s shared responsibilities for care.
About Cooperation Canada
Cooperation Canada brings together and advocates for Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe and sustainable for all.