Women, Stephen Harper and the Economic Crisis

NUPGE leaflet puts focus on Canadian women struggling to cope with severe economic problems.

Ottawa (20 May 2009) – The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has released a new leaflet entitled Women, Stephen Harper and the Economic Crisis.  The leaflet examines the issues facing Canadian women during the current economic crisis. 

Download NUPGE Pamphlet - Women, Stephen Harper and the Economic Crisis

The lack of an early childhood education and child care program, the inequities that exist for women in the Employment Insurance (EI) program and the pay gap between women and men have left Canadian women struggling long before the economic recession began.  The Conservative government’s Federal Budget 2009 which was to respond to the economic crisis provided no support for women. 

The economic stimulus provided billions of dollars into physical infrastructure projects and construction programs which are male dominated industries.  It did not, however, put money into social infrastructures such as child care, health care and community-based social services which are female dominated industries.

It is harder for women to accumulate the number of hours to qualify for EI as they are more likely to work part-time, non-standard hours and have extended periods of time away from the workforce to handle family responsibilities.  The extension of five weeks of EI benefits does not help women who cannot quality for benefits to begin with. 

The Federal Budget did not provide or improve access to affordable child care which is essential in order for women to seek employment or retrain.  For female single parents, many of whom are poor and cannot afford child care fees, a universal early education and child care program is imperative.

“Child care, EI and pay equity are just a few of the issues confronting Canadian women as the economy tightens. Governments must invest in social infrastructure which puts money into fields with high female employment and at the same time provides services which support our children, our elderly and our sick,” states NUPGE national president James Clancy. “During this economic downturn, rather than continuing to deepen the equality gap, the government must address the issues facing Canadian women and must ensure that women are included in the economic recovery,” stresses Clancy.

You can download the leaflet by clicking here or order copies by e mailing NUPGE at national@nupge.ca.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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