What is in Budget 2021 for Women?
Strengthening Diversity in Corporate Governance
To foster inclusivity in the financial sector and ensure Canada’s financial institutions are responding to changing social and economic conditions:
Establishing a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System
Budget 2021 makes a generational investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. That is a plan to drive economic growth, a plan to increase women’s participation in the workforce, and a plan to offer each child in Canada the best start in life.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs
Canadian women entrepreneurs are essential to Canada’s economic success, but women still face unique and systemic barriers to starting and growing a business, and they remain underrepresented in the economy. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, and the government is committed to supporting Canadian women entrepreneurs.
Supporting Accessible Child Care Spaces
For families that have children with disabilities, it is often challenging to find affordable and accessible child care spaces that meet their needs.
Supporting Community Service Organizations
A majority of the workers in the charity and non-profit sector are women. This sector has been significantly affected by the pandemic, causing further impacts on the she-cession. The effects have been especially significant for small and rural charities, whose ability to raise funds has been severely impacted even as the pressures for their services have grown.
Supporting Racialized Newcomer Women
Many newcomer women face multiple barriers to employment, including language, lack of Canadian experience, and in some cases, gender- and race-based discrimination. In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada launched a three-year pilot to support employment-related services for racialized newcomer women, such as networking opportunities, employment counselling and paid work placements.
Supporting Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Information and Services
All Canadians should have access to a full suite of sexual and reproductive health resources and services, no matter where they live. Women, youth, LGBTQ2 people, racialized Canadians, and Indigenous populations face the highest sexual and reproductive health risks and the most significant barriers to accessing support, information, and services. They often do not receive the same quality of care, mainly if they are from marginalized communities. Furthermore, examples like Clinic 554—New Brunswick’s only private abortion clinic—show us that lack of funding puts access to sexual and reproductive health care at risk. Everyone deserves equal treatment in our health care system.
To improve access to sexual and reproductive health care support, information, and services—including protecting access to abortion care:
Also, there are currently no existing resources that collect comprehensive data on a wide range of sexual and reproductive health indicators in Canada, limiting our ability to target supports. To address this:
Establishing a National Institute for Women’s Health Research
Sex- and gender-related disparities continue to persist in Canada’s health system. Women are more likely to die of preventable illnesses and bear a higher burden of chronic illnesses. To improve health outcomes and eliminate the gaps in the quality of care women receive, we need to strengthen research.
Support for Indigenous Entrepreneurs
Currently, only 36 percent of Indigenous-led businesses are owned by women. To address this and make sure women entrepreneurs are empowered in the economic recovery:
ü Budget 2021 proposes to invest $22 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to support the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association’s (NACCA) Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative by providing tools, services, and resources to increase the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs. This funding would support NACCA in achieving its target of increasing the number of Indigenous women entrepreneurs who access financing through Aboriginal Financial Institutions by 50 percent.
To enhance the capacity and responsiveness of organizations such as sexual assault centres, women’s shelters, and other organizations that provide critical and often life-saving services and supports for women, girls, LGBTQ2, and gender non-binary people experiencing violence:
Gender-Based Violence Program
To make our communities more resilient to the threats of gender-based violence, including initiatives that support at-risk populations and survivors— almost half of whom are between the ages of 18 and 24, with nearly three in ten survivors under the age of 18—and that educate men and boys, so that all people recognize the role they play in ending gender-based violence:
National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence Secretariat
To establish a dedicated secretariat to coordinate the ongoing work towards the development and implementation of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and to continue engagement with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, gender-based violence experts, stakeholders and, most importantly, survivors of gender-based violence:
Protections for Women and Children during Divorce or Separation
Women are six times more likely to be killed by a former spouse than a spouse with whom they are living. When co-parenting during a divorce or separation, having supervised options can protect women’s safety and protect children from experiencing violence in their homes. To support supervision services for parenting time in cases of separation and divorce:
To read the Budget 2021 speech or to review the budget documents, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/services/publications/federal-budget.html
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