Today the Manitoba NDP pledged to continue to fight to close the gender pay gap if re-elected to govern the province on April 19 – a valuable reminder that work continues to be done in support of pay equity.
Minister of Health, and NDP candidate for Kirkfield Park Sharon Blady announced that the province would ensure that provincial budgets are created with a specific focus on the impact they will have for women.
“The Manitoba government has already been using this approach to provincial budgets,” said Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Year after year the government has invested in sectors where work is traditionally performed by women – and that matters”.
While governments at every level are investing heavily in infrastructure, this work is traditionally performed by men. What makes Manitoba different is that in addition to funding infrastructure renewal, the government has also ensured consistent funding increases to health care, education, and social services – where work is traditionally performed by women.
Other provinces across Canada have been cutting funding to sectors where women perform the majority of work.
A Globe and Mail article published in advance of International Women’s Day found that Manitoba has the smallest gender pay gap in the country, along with PEI, while Alberta and Newfoundland have the largest gap.
“The government’s investments in sectors where work is traditionally performed by women has already paid off in helping to close the gap,” said Moist. “We still have work to do to eliminate that gap altogether, but we know we’re on the right track”.
Today’s announcement also included a one million dollar pledge to support grassroots organizations that fight against gender-based violence. This proactive approach compliments the province’s new ground-breaking legislation that would ensure paid leave for victims of domestic violence.
CUPE Manitoba will be responding to election pledges across parties in the lead up to the April 19 provincial election. More stories on the provincial election can be found here.