Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

Women are bearing the brunt of the economic pain dished out by COVID-19

Published on May 8, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – The latest job numbers released Friday revealed that unemployment is surging during this pandemic, and that women in Ontario are bearing the brunt of the economic impact of COVID-19.

“While the pandemic is having profound effects on all Ontarians, it isn’t affecting us all equally. Women have lost the majority of the jobs since this crisis hit Ontario,” said Horwath.

“People are hurting. This pandemic’s recession is definitely a she-session. The Ford government can’t keep passing the buck to the federal government any longer. They need to step up now, and provide real financial supports to workers and small businesses in Ontario, so that folks across the province – especially women –  can make ends meet now, and get onto a solid footing. There will be no recovery without a she-covery”.

In Ontario, 188,000 women over 25 have lost their job since January. Before the crisis, of all those struggling financially – relying on food banks or payday loans — 60 per cent were women. Now during the pandemic, women, especially racialized women, are disproportionately the ones on the frontlines at the most risk of contact with the virus.

“Women entrepreneurs are also more likely to own businesses that are self-financed, or in the service industries — making their business  among the hardest hit by the economic shutdown,” said Catherine Fife, NDP critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation. “The federal government’s programs to help businesses keep staff on and pay the rent have missed the mark. We need the provincial government to get direct financial support right away to those who desperately need it.”