Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has released the following statement in recognition of Gender Equality Week, which is celebrated nationwide:
“Gender Equality Week is a reminder that our communities are stronger when all of us can reach our full potential no matter our gender, gender identity, race, class, sexual orientation, disability or ability.
“While we are making progress toward ensuring equity for all people in B.C., systemic barriers still exist and the COVID-19 global pandemic has, in effect, highlighted this.
“In just a few short months, COVID-19 changed the world as we knew it for the long term. This was not an equal opportunity pandemic: for those who were already disadvantaged, the impacts have been even more difficult.
“Women, and especially women of colour, are one of the groups at risk of long-term economic insecurity as a result of the pandemic because many work part-time and are in jobs that tend to be over-represented in some of the hardest hit service sectors.
“Women are also most likely to be in a caregiving role – for children or elderly parents – sometimes both.
“Our immediate response included financial supports for people whose ability to work has been affected, help for people facing violence, supports for vulnerable people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and increased funding to assist child care providers, just to name a few.
“Our recovery plan goes even further to support those who need it most. This includes training people who have lost work, new job creation, investments in more child care spaces and safe schools, and increased supports for hard-hit sectors, such as the arts, culture, tourism and small business, where so many women workers and entrepreneurs make their livelihood.
“And, as always, we need diversity and collaboration. Many organizations recognize that ideas and innovation won’t happen if everyone at the table looks the same and has the same experiences. All organizations and businesses must strive for gender equity as not only the right thing to do, but necessary for innovation.
“Having different perspectives is vital and it’s the best way to build back our communities with all of the talent and lived experience we have available.
“As B.C. implements its COVID-19 economic recovery plan, it’s important that all people – especially those who already face disadvantages – are supported to have best possible opportunity to move forward.”
For more information on Stronger BC for Everyone: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/