Women have long been underrepresented in government policy, especially at the federal level. We know that they are strongly affected by the absence of family-friendly policies and by the lack of support of women-centred CED on the part of policy makers.
This is not to say that women are not being considered at all when it comes to economic policy, but it is clear that they are not taken into account to the degree that they need to be. On average, women still earn just 71.4% of what men earn.
And so we designed this report, which you can read in its entirety here, to answer one simple question: when it comes to government policy, do women matter?
The goal of this report was to help show policy makers the degree to which their policies do not solve the problems facing women today. In addition, we intended it as a valuable tool for organizations, making it easier for them to understand the effects government policies have on women-centred CED organizations.
We did this by interviewing key representatives of government policy, as well as leaders and stakeholders in the women-centred CED community. The interviews address the level of funding available for women-centred CED organizations, the criteria one needs to pass to meet that funding level, as well as government perceptions of women-centred CED.
The interviews revealed a major gap between what was needed and what was provided. They showed that the difference between what government funding was meant to do and what it actually did was quite large.
In addition, we found that the funding for women-centred CED programs was far from adequate. In fact, we saw policy shifting in the wrong direction, and the future of such funding seems uncertain. These are major issues. The conclusion can only be that not enough is being done at the federal level to aid in women-centred CED developments.
Our recommendations were threefold:
- Support Women-Centred CED: Policy makers need to increase funding to these types of programs, and ensure that this funding is properly applied.
- Conduct Gender Analysis: All government departments should implement gender analysis as part of their basic operation. This will help to ensure that policies that impact women differently are fully explored.
Improve Funding Practices: The current state of funding serves no one’s best interests. We recommend standardization and simplification of funding practices across the country, as well as more involvement on a local level to ensure funding is properly allocated.