Martin C. Barry
Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif has announced that a local umbrella group of women’s organizations will receive $295,725 in funding for a 36-month project whose goal will be to remove systemic barriers to employment for vulnerable women in the Laval region.
The Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine will collaborate with local partners in key employment sectors, service providers and women in Laval, whose lived experience of employment barriers include domestic abuse, poverty, housing, mental and physical health issues.
Goal is a regional model
According to the organization and Nassif, a gender-based analysis will be applied to existing policies to determine common service gaps and barriers in transportation, access to child care, training opportunities, job-matching methods and other job placement issues. New procedures and protocols will be piloted through three community partners to create a model that can be incorporated into practices at the regional level.
“I believe that with this important project, and with the help of key partners, the Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine will be able to continue this noble mission they’ve chosen, which is to provide a more secure future for women in need, and to fight alongside them so their rights will be recognized,” Nassif said during an announcement made at the Centre communautaire Saint-Joseph last week.
“I am proud that the Government of Canada is committed to supporting their efforts through the Women’s Program at the Department for Women and Gender Equality,” Nassif continued. “Advancing equality continues to be at the heart of our government decision-making. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. We know that we when we invest in women we are strengthening the economy for everyone.”
Established in Laval around 30 years ago, the Table de concertation de Laval en condition féminine draws together more than 30 groups and organizations, nearly a dozen of which concern themselves primarily with women’s equality issues.
Needed: quality jobs
“We are all very happy today to be participating in this announcement and to be launching this project that will improve the chances of women to get and obtain jobs, especially quality jobs through which they will be able to improve their economic security while ensuring their financial autonomy as well as their children’s,” said Table de concertation coordinator Marie-Ève Surprenant.
According to Surprenant, financial uncertainty was the most common problem her organization’s initial research discovered among women in Laval who will be benefiting from the program. Health and emotional problems, which tend to accumulate when women are faced with financial problems, also worsen, she added. “When you have these problems, it becomes difficult to hold down a job and ensure one’s economic security,” said Surprenant.
The subsidy will be spent on a program whose goal will be to improve the employability prospects of women facing poverty, homelessness, mental and physical health issues and other types of situations. The Table de concertation’s partner members will be called upon to contribute and take part in the program. The McKinsey Global Institute research organization maintains that women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2015, women in Canada earned 87 cents for every dollar earned by men.
The institute estimates that by taking steps to advance equality for women – such as employing more women in technology and boosting women’s participation in the workforce – Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026. The institute also says that women are much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76 per cent of all part-time workers, with 25 per cent of women reporting childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.