Mother’s Day is the one official day of the year when moms are supposed to get the credit they deserve.
Breakfast in bed, flowers, cards and trips to the spa – it’s the day when we show our gratitude to the women who’ve loved and raised us. And as any mother knows, while motherhood is a joy, it can be full of struggle and sacrifice, hectic days and sleepless nights..
Being a mom in Canada – six fast facts
Beyond wiping noses and packing lunches, Canadian moms face further challenges – many of them simply because they’re female.
Here are 6 reasons why your mom deserves and extra hug this Mother’s Day.
1. She’s not well represented in government
One of the areas where Canada falls furthest behind, in terms of women’s equality, is politics. In 2010, we were ranked 50th in the world for women’s participation in politics, with women holding just 23% of Canadian legislature seats occupied by women. Women do slightly better in the Canadian Senate – 35 of 88 current senators are female.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet is comprised of 12 women – and 27 men.
But there are some bright spots. At the municipal level, women have been making significant gains. In the 2014 municipal elections in BC, nearly 40% of elected councilors were women. Here in Vancouver, our city council is 50% female and the deputy mayor is a woman.
2. She gets paid less than her male colleagues
Canada’s pay gap is slightly better than the global average. Canadian women make, on average, 82% as much as their male colleagues.
However, that’s still well behind many other developed nations: New Zealand women make 94.4% as much as men, Italian women 89% and in Chile, women are paid about 84% as much as their male counterparts.
3. She’ll probably never be a CEO
Canada also falls behind when it comes to women in business.
Canada’s Council of Chief Executives, made up of CEOs from the country’s most prominent companies, is 9% female. There are no female bank presidents in Canada,and only one Canadian union is headed by a woman.
Canadian businesswomen also suffer from a larger gender pay gap. According to Catalyst Canada, Canadian women with Masters of Business Administration earn just 75.3% of men with the same qualifications – $8,000 less per year.
4. She pays more on everything – from insurance to shoes
Not only are Canadian women paid less – they also have to pay more for many of the same goods and services as Canadian men.
In November, the CBC reported on the phenomenon, often called gender pricing. From cosmetics to aesthetics, women pay more for products that often differ from men’s in little more than scent. According to the CBC, a wrinkle-cream from an unnamed retailer cost $8.99. The same brand, packaged and marketed to women? It cost $22.99. The same is true for products from deodorant to disposable razors.
And it’s not just consumer goods where women get fleeced. According to the National Women’s Law Centre, an American advocacy group, women pay more for cars, health insurance and mortgages than men do.
5. She has likely struggled to find affordable child care
Canada lacks a national child care program, leaving the funding and regulation of child care spaces mostly to the provinces.
In 2005, legislation was tabled to create and fund one and every province and territory signed on to participate. Unfortunately, the Conservative government canceled the program before it even got off the ground.
In its latest budget, the government has promised $7 billion in spending on its family tax package, but won’t create a single child care space. According to the Canadian Centre for Public Policy, if that money were re-directed, it would be enough to create $7 per day child care across the country.
As it stands, Canadian moms can spend up to 36% of their income on child care. Here in Vancouver, moms must spend an average of 29% of their earnings to ensure their children are cared for.
6. She probably works harder than your dad
Women all around the world do more unpaid work than men. From child care to housework to caring for elderly parents and relatives, women spend more time doing unpaid labour than men do. But there’s a bright spot here too. According to UN
Women, Canadian women do only slightly more unpaid work than Canadian men.
This Mother’s Day, make sure you let your mom know how much she means to you and how much you appreciate her. She deserves it!