May 28th, 2019

Committee hears evidence of major economic roadblocks for women

Halifax -- The Standing Committee on Human Resources heard from experts on the current state of economic security for women in the province today. Nova Scotia has one of the largest wage gaps for women where, for every dollar a man makes, women make 77 cents.

“There are solutions to these issues that the McNeil government could act on to improve the economic security of women in Nova Scotia,” said NDP Status of Women spokesperson Lenore Zann. “Increasing the minimum wage to $15 would be a perfect place to start as disproportionately more women work for less than $15 an hour than men.”

The June 2018 Report of the Federal Standing Committee on the Status of Women found that there are numerous factors that contribute to women’s economic insecurity, including systemic and structural barriers.

“We know that women are more likely than men to be economically insecure. Investment in public services like health care is one of the key policies that can address that,” said Angella MacEwen, Senior Economist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and one of the committee witnesses. “If we have care in place upfront it reduces costs in the long term. In Nova Scotia, the Liberal government should be thinking about whether there are enough long term care workers and enough nursing home spaces.”

Canadian women are still more likely to work in traditionally “female” fields like teaching, nursing, social work, sales, service, or administration. Only 17 of 51 MLAs in Nova Scotia are women.