Feminization of Poverty

Feminization of Poverty

Did you know that approximately 4.8 million Canadians are estimated to be poor?

Did you know that Canada’s poverty rate is ranked 20th out of 31 OECD* countries?

Did you know that although Canada’s poverty rate is on average 9% yet in certain provinces, like Manitoba, approximately 70% of Aboriginal children under six years old are poor?

Poverty is on the rise making it a huge concern for our nation.


Women of all ages, race, and class have faced oppression within our societies, especially the workforce. Due to experiencing such oppressions, it leads women to be one of the most vulnerable genders to experience poverty. But why you may ask? There are two main causes.

1. Women spend incredible hours doing unpaid work, which results in them having less time to do paid work.

  • Even though women and men work the same amount of hours, women do 4.2 hours a day of unpaid work while men only do 2.2 hours. Unpaid work can be anything ranging from childcare, meal preparation, eldercare or so on.
  • About 70% of women with children under the age of six require time away from paid work to fulfill their family responsibilities. As you could imagine, the only plausible solution for mothers is to take on part-time, seasonal or temporary jobs. This leaves mothers with minimal amount of job security and economic security.
  • Because 70% of part-time workers (which are 66% minimum wage earners) are females, it leads to minimal pay which makes it difficult for them to climb out of poverty.

2. Women experience visible gender wage gaps.

  • For every dollar men earn, women earn 71 cents. So on average, women earn $17.96 per hour while men earn $21.43. This means that women earn 83.8% of male’s hourly wage.
  • Interestingly enough, more women graduate from university than men, yet they still earn less. For example, the average annual for a female graduate is $62,800 while men earn $91,800. This is a huge difference when cost of living and other expenses are calculated into life.



Solutions to how we can close the gender pay gap



*OECD stands for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. This organization calculates economic progress and world trade.


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