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The Recovery Policies We Need

Author: Carmina Ravanera 

This past year has shown us that we have a window of possibility to not simply recover from this pandemic, but transform our society and economy to prioritize care and community. Not long after COVID-19 struck, it became clear that it would not affect people across Canada equally. Women; Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people; Black, Indigenous and racialized communities; those experiencing low income; immigrants; and people with disabilities have all faced the brunt of both economic downturn and health risks. Just three months after the pandemic began, in the summer of 2020, the participation rate of women in the Canadian labour force had returned to what it was in the 1980s. When schools and childcare facilities closed, many women — who disproportionately take on unpaid caregiving — left their jobs to look after their families. The increased burden of care work during the pandemic led them to either cut their paid work hours or drop out of the workforce completely.

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