Women and Poverty

Close your eyes.

Picture the Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome.

Picture it packed with women – every seat is full.

Now, if you’re able, picture that seven times and add another half Saddledome.

The image you have created is a representation of every woman in Alberta that earns less than a living wage.

Pengrowth Saddledome

Women are more likely to be poor than men. In Alberta, women only earn 68% of what men earn. Surprisingly this number decreases to 63% when you compare men and women with post-secondary diplomas or certificates. Over two thirds of part time workers in Alberta are women and women are disproportionately represented among those earning minimum wage, especially those on the lower tier of Alberta’s two-tiered minimum wage system.

Further, Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, visible minority women, immigrant women, post-incarcerated women and lesbian women are additionally marginalized and more likely to be poor than men within the same category.

The Women’s Centre’s Social Issues Committee is working on putting together information in order to provide the provincial government with specifics on women and poverty for their Provincial Poverty Reduction Plan.

The committee is covering several areas including income, child care, women’s leadership, social infrastructure, education and skills training, health care and housing.

For more information on women and poverty, you can get in touch with me at the Women’s Centre by phone at 403-264-1155 or by e-mail at leah@womenscentrecalgary.org.

Additionally, check out the Parkland Institute’s Fact Sheet on Women’s Equality and Public Interest Alberta’s Statistics on Low-wage Workers in Alberta.

-Leah Kelley, Social Issues Coordinator


Photo credit – Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome. Retrieved July 11, 2012 from: http://www.gogobot.com/pengrowth-saddledome-calgary-attraction

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