Today is Labour Day!
We’re taking a look at why as we fight for gender equity we also need to fight for workers rights as well.
Because women still earn less than men
Despite decades of struggle, the gender wage gap has persisted with women making only around 71% of what men make. One reason for this is that women, especially women of colour and recent immigrants, are more likely to work in low-wage, insecure jobs, particularly in the service sector, where they have few opportunities for advancement.
Because women’s work is undervalued
Work traditionally done by women, such as child and elder care, is considered lower-skilled and is therefore lower paying. Although more and more women are working outside of the home, they still perform the majority of unpaid work inside the home. This double-burden of paid and unpaid work can lead to stress and burnout, especially when women lack social supports.
Because women are less likely to be unionized
Unions narrow the wage gap and provide better working conditions and benefits for women workers. But unfortunately, unionization rates in the private sector are low, with only 14% of women enjoying the protection of a union compared to 23% of men. Although many women have good paying, unionized jobs in the public sector, many of these jobs are being lost due to the government’s austerity agenda. Organizing women, bargaining for equality, and fighting austerity should be a priority for unions. Even women in unionized workplaces can still struggle for gender equity.