QUEEN'S PARK — This International Women’s Day, we recognize the toll the pandemic has taken on women specifically and celebrate the extraordinary ways women in Ontario and around the world have been supporting their communities and leading change to challenge inequality and injustice.
Women have been leading the fight against COVID-19 and are disproportionately bearing the impacts of the pandemic. Women make up the majority of frontline health care workers and other essential workers going to work each day. We know this is especially true for BIPOC and racialized women, and women in lower-income communities, where the risk of infection is higher, financial security is more precarious and benefits that everyone deserves — like paid sick days and family care days to stay home with an unwell child or loved one — are often denied.
Women have disproportionately lost jobs and income during the pandemic, and are on the front lines at home, too, many juggling work while caring for kids stuck at home and supervising children’s online school.
Women and girls are at the forefront of movements that challenge the status quo and push for change in areas like labour, education, housing, the environment and social justice.
As Ontario NDP leader, I will continue to fight for solutions to help women, their families and communities, things like paid sick days for all workers, a ban on evictions during the pandemic, more affordable non-profit and public child care options, direct financial support for women-led small businesses, support for women who have lost jobs and need to re-enter the workforce, a pandemic equity strategy that includes supports for marginalized folks and hard-hit communities, safe schools with better ventilation and smaller classes, and more hands-on care in long-term care with staff paid a living wage and given permanent employment with benefits.
Women have been stepping up in extraordinary ways to help their families and communities, and we must ensure they are given every support needed to thrive.
Happy International Women’s Day!"