Gender and Diversity Impact Summary: Finishing the Fight Against COVID-19

Women make up most of the front-line health care, long-term care, child care, and education workforce—exposing them to greater risk of infection. Racialized and immigrant workers are particularly affected. Getting everyone vaccinated and creating healthier indoor environments allows us to keep our frontline workers—mostly women—as safe as possible.

Equitable access to the full range of quality health care services mitigates health inequities resulting from differences in the social, geographical, and economic status.

Mental illness affects everyone, but systemic inequalities such as racism, poverty, homelessness, and discrimination often augment the symptoms of mental health especially if support is not available.

Our plan to make significant investment in mental health will directly benefit all Canadians and provide a heightened benefit to those who faced barriers due to cost or availability.

Our measures will facilitate access to quality primary care, long-term care, sexual and reproductive health services, menstrual products, mental health and addiction services, medication, and other health related treatments. What is more, our investment to raise the wages of personal support workers will disproportionately benefit racialized women who make up a third of the profession.

Racialized and low-income women, as well as youth, faced compounding burdens because they are overrepresented in low-wage positions, and often do not have access to paid sick leave. In fact, 58% of workers in Canada do not have sick leave. Our plan to bring in 10 paid sick days federally and work with provinces and territories to develop a national plan for sick leave will benefit all Canadians.

Food insecurity increased significantly during the pandemic, with one in seven Canadians reporting they experienced food insecurity. Pandemic-related unemployment and poverty are contributing factors, as is low-income status.