The past two decades have seen some progress for women in the world in terms of gender equality in society, according to the International Labor Organization. Today, more women than ever before have access to education and labor market. Under the 2010 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world leaders have committed themselves to ensure gender equality for those who are considered minorities which includes young people, persons with disabilities and women. Despite some progress, women still are likely to face unemployment in large parts of the world. The gap between men and women participating in the labor market is especially big in the developing countries and in countries where religious and other cultural factor prevent women from entering the workforce.
Women’s Rights in Canada
And what about women’s rights in Canada? The history of women has some notable moments – right to vote, approved maternity leave and the Fair Employment Practices Act endorsed in 1951 allowing for fines and a complaint system to eliminate discrimination. Finally, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms passed in 1985 prohibited discrimination against persons based on their sex or sexual orientation.
When it comes to job opportunities in Canada, compared to man, women’s employment is still low. In addition, a woman working full-time still earns 75% for every dollar a man makes. However, there are significant accomplishments made by the government of Canada to involve more women not only in the workforce but in local and international business as well. For example, last year Canada launched its first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy to help women entrepreneurs in establishing and enhancing world-class businesses. The Canadian labor market has seen significant changes since the 1950s. As a result of many efforts, the labor force participation rate of women reached 82% against 91% of men.
Another initiative undertaken by the Canadian government last year was the creation of a new program to support visible minority newcomer women.
Many times we have emphasized Canada as one of the best countries for living and immigration. According to a 2018 US News, Canada is the top destination to live for immigrants due to very thoughtful and flexible immigration programs. And the system is being improved all the time to help all immigrants integrate into Canadian society, regardless of their age, sex, religion and etc.
New Pilot Program to Support Women Minorities
Visible minority newcomer women have the lowest average annual salary of all newcomer categories at $26, 624 and they often face unemployment. To solve this problem, the IRCC decided to launch a three-year Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot.
Ahmed Hussen, Minister for Immigration in Canada says that this pilot will help to remove employment barriers for women minorities. And he adds that it isn’t just about boosting Canada’s economy, but rather about increasing their sense of dignity and belonging.
When we look at Canada immigration programs and how they evolved, we can see the consistent approach that targets a specific group to improve social conditions for immigrants. For example, sponsorship programs designed for immigrants’ parents, grandparents and spouses or common-law partners and so on.
So this time to address gender-and race-based discrimination and increase job opportunities for immigrants in Canada, the IRCC has come up with this pilot directed to the visible minority newcomer women. Other important issues include a lack of childcare and weak social support.
Things to consider
- Women newcomer minorities have the lowest average annual income of all newcomer groups at $26, 624. Visible minority newcomer men are paid $35,000 annually, while non-visible minority immigrant men – $42, 591.
- Job opportunities in Canada for immigrant women are lower than for immigrant and non-immigrant men.
- The IRCC will invest $7 million over 2019-2020 – for SPO (service provider organizations) to make their employment services meet the needs of visible minority immigrant women, as well as new programs to protect women immigrant’s rights in Canada.
While some services are directly provided by the IRCC, there are other services and businesses in Canada not funded by the IRCC that will be eligible for some part of the funding. This also includes service providers outside Canada as well. To apply for the funding, eligible applicants will have to submit their applications under the expression of interest process.
The existing Settlement Program has been already focusing on information and orientation, language training and skills development, but this new initiative will serve to improve employment and career prospective for women immigrants in Canada.
Canada always showed its dedication to newcomers – again proved by these additional measures to target specific women. Long before that, about a year ago, the federal government allotted 440 million to welcome more immigrants.