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How the labour movement has failed minorities in Canada

How the labour movement has failed
Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post Canada September 2, 2014

Kudos to Rachel for her thoughtful and informative critique of the Canadian labour movement’s historical under-representation of racial minorities. It’s actually more cleverly written than it first appears (and it’s pretty clever as-is); the embedded web links make some interesting implicit connections.

Employment Financial security Women

Feminomics: (De)valuing women’s socio-economic influence

Chart 1 – Average hours worked per person (employment and self-employment, age 15+)

Chart 1 Average hours worked, labour

Source: CANSIM Tables 282-0001 and 282-0017 – Labour force survey estimates (LFS), Statistics Canada

It’s a website as well as a movement. Unfortunately, that movement has little to do with promoting either equal opportunity or social security for women, let alone acknowledging the value of their unpaid work. Rather, it seems singularly focused on the fact women are paid less than men.

Owing to their dual roles as mothers / primary caregivers as well as labour market participants, it’s no surprise the hours women commit to unpaid work necessarily translate to less hours on average available to commit to paid labour.

That doesn’t sit well with feminomists(?), who apparently see women choosing to be mothers / primary caregivers as a “systemic problem“. The real problem is distilling women’s socio-economic value to little more than labour market widgets. Rising inequality, the decreasing share of income to labour and the long shadow of the Great Recession may help bring things back into perspective.

After Decades of Decline, A Rise in Stay-at-Home Mothers
D’Vera Cohn, Gretchen Livingston and Wendy Wang, Pew Research Center April 8, 2014

From she to she: changing patterns of women in the Canadian labour force (PDF)
Canadian Economic Observer, Statistics Canada June 15, 2006