A server cleans tables at an empty pub, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 in Montreal. A coalition of business groups is calling for “urgent action” from all levels of government to save the food service industry amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Boosting marginalized groups key to ‘feminist economic recovery,’ report says

Report urges governments to consider eight policy goals that address systemic racism

A new report is urging lawmakers not to ignore the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, people of colour, and the LGBTQ+ community.

YWCA Canada and the Institute for Gender and the Economy at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management on Tuesday released the report, which is titled a ”Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada.”

While the discussion around economic recovery has been focused on the so-called new normal, the authors say that Canada should not return to “normal” policies if those policies perpetuated inequality.

For example, the report notes that in the midst of the pandemic, the employment rate declined twice as much for Canadian women in the 25 to 54 age range, compared with men.

The report also says that Black, racialized and immigrant women are much more likely to be personal support workers, cleaners, and work in other “essential but low-paid occupations” that lack leave policies.

The report urges governments, and to a lesser extent businesses and charities, to consider eight policy goals that address systemic racism, emphasize good jobs, protect victims of domestic violence, improve funding for small businesses, and promote diversity in the decision-making process.

Those measures will in turn stimulate the economy, it says.

READ MORE: Top doctor says ‘upswing’ in Western Canada’s COVID cases is pushing the curve upwards

Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press


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