Women

Respecting Women Too Much To Fund Them

Since coming into power, Harper has respected women so hard that he cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43 per cent, respectfully shutting down 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices in Canada, and eliminated funding of legal voices for women and minority groups — whom he greatly respects — including the respected National Association of Women and the similarly respected Law and the Courts Challenges Program.

Maternal Health Doesn’t Include Safe Access To Abortion

In 2010 the Harper government took on maternal and child health as its primary global program, funding foreign aid through 2020. Someone probably should have told Mr. Harper that safe access to abortion is a fundamental factor in maternal health. Oh shit, really? Really. According to the World Health Organization, 21.6 million women risk an unsafe abortion worldwide each year.

The 47,000 who die, make up about 13% of annual maternal deaths. It seems odd that something so integral to the issue at hand was completely excluded from any funding whatsoever. But hey, abortion is a divisive issue that doesn’t play to Harper’s conservative base. Maybe women’s reproductive health can only be achieved when the conception of their basic human rights catches on up.

You Babies Should Grow The Hell Up Already

Harper has neglected to create a national childcare program when there is a obvious need. He instead implemented a taxable childcare benefit system. Believing that children as a whole should grow the hell up, stop pretending to be dinosaurs, and go get some jobs.

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Parents from coast to coast were presented with a $100 taxable allowance (that has since been upped to $160), which barely covers the occasional babysitter, and even then, best of luck with that.

Little Stevie never liked daycare. Finger painting and nap-time were so beneath him. The benefit system corrects that childish dystopian ‘fun-house’ and sends parents the message: You ‘made your own bed’, now sleep in it… even if it is a bit crowded.

In Canada, there are only enough regulated childcare spaces to cover 20% of 0-12 year olds whose parents are actively searching for space. That means for every 5 children, 4 families don’t have access to regulated childcare. These families are told to ‘figure it out’, and forced to look for ‘alternatives’.

Not to pigeonhole childcare as a female responsibility, but when it comes to single parent families, it is overwhelmingly these admirable women who step up. Women head 8 of 10 single-parent families, with many of them working full-time and raising their kids full-time. As a whole, 75% of Canadian women remain in the active workforce as mothers of young children. Considering that there are only enough regulated childcare spaces to cover 20% of 0-12 year olds, these numbers demand some serious respect. Harper should begin to show that respect, or he could be very, very sorry.

Pfft Pay Equity

Not-so-fun-fact: our gender pay gap is double the global average. Women make on average $8,000 less a year than men do for doing an equivalent job.

We tend to best our male counterparts in high school, college and university but still fall soundly behind in our paycheques. Want to get ahead? Stop worrying about that master’s program and change your name to Mike.

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Harper knew about this issue and even campaigned for change in 2006. Once elected, and presented with a ‘proactive pay-equity system’ by a federal task force, Harper in all his charm replied with a, ‘Yaa… we’re not going to do that’.

He didn’t stop there, Harper’s conservatives introduced an Act in 2009 that effectively eliminated the concept of pay equity in the workplace. The name Mike is growing on you, isn’t it?

Missing & murdered Indigenous women are “isolated crimes”

Harper has refused the widespread request of First Nations peoples to have a proper inquiry into the shockingly high number of murdered and missing aboriginal women, dismissing it saying each incident was “isolated”. All 1,181 of them. There’s nothing to joke about here: this is just devastating.

There’s even evidence that the Harper government wants to spin this tragedy as an Indigenous-on-Indigenous crime problem. Huh? Where have we heard that before?!!

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