Saturday, January 21st, 2017 – Why we marched on Washington, and why the pay gap matters:
The day after President Trump’s inauguration, millions of women marched worldwide. We marched to show the greater public that we are serious about the status of women. We were so very excited and honoured to have been a part of the Women’s March on Washington. So excited, in fact, that we decided to create a banner for the march, celebrating the history of public demonstrations. From abolishment of slavery – to suffragettes – to union organizing, we’re proud to have joined our American sisters gathering in the spirit of democracy and free speech.
We marched in Washington because the issues we want to address don’t have borders. Issues such as reproductive rights, worker’s rights – especially the pay gap!, LGBTQIA rights, immigration, disabilities, and environmental justice, to name a few. We marched for our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, grandmothers, and friends. We supported this march because it wasn’t a march against President Trump, but a push for the equal status of women everywhere.
The pay gap is an issue across North America and beyond. The pay gap isn’t important because women need to buy more shoes or go out for brunch. It’s not necessarily a matter of having less money now – although that’s definitely a problem for some women. It matters because women aren’t able to save for a reasonable retirement. We see many retired women in our clinic who have not able to purchase cannabis for their chronic pain because they are worried about their small and finite budgets. Their ability to save was compromised by their status, and continues to be an issue for their daughters who may be supporting them.
Some quick facts from the Ministry of Labour about the pay gap in Ontario:
- Ontario’s gender pay gap is between 14-26 per cent.
- According to Deloitte’s 2016 study, erasing the pay gap could boost Ontario’s GDP by 7.9% or more
- “The Royal Bank of Canada (2005) estimated that personal incomes in Canada would increase by $168 billion annually if women had the same labour force opportunities as men.”