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International Women's Day 2014

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Publication Date: 
5 Mar 2014


Every year at this time, we at the Childcare Resource and Research Unit take time to reflect on International Women's Day and about how far we have come--and how far we have left to go.

We know that child care is foundational to women's equality; we are committed to fighting for high quality universal child care in Canada as part of the struggle for women's rights in Canada and around the world.

This year to mark IWD, we have compiled a collection of materials that remind us how important it is to support the ongoing struggles of women in Canada and outside our borders, including the fight for publicly funded, universal child care.

It was on International Women's Day 1986 that Brian Mulroney's Conservative federal government released the Report of the Task Force on Child Care (the "Katie Cooke Task Force") initiated by the previous Liberal government.

The Task Force report was the first federal report calling for a national child care program as an "urgent matter". More than a decade earlier, the 1970 report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women made 167 recommendations including establishing a "national day-care Act." Although most of these recommendations were at least partially implemented, the recommendation for a national childcare program was one of the few that went completely unaddressed.

The Cooke Task Force's benchmark year, 2001, came and went thirteen years ago yet child care remains a major challenge for many Canadian families. Still today only a minority of Canadian children have access to regulated child care.

More broadly, Canada's gender gap is growing and the status of women in Canada is under threat just as the United Nations fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women is beginning (March 10 - 21 at United Nations Headquarters in New York).  See more at: 

CRRU resources

Think child care is no longer a women's issue? CRRU, IWD 2013

ISSUE File: Early childhood education and child care - STILL central to women's equality, CRRU, IWD 2012

La lutte continue/the stuggle continues: Child care and International Women's Day through the years, CRRU, IWD 2012


Status quo? The unfinished business of feminism in Canada (TRAILER ONLY)
National Film Board documentary by Karen Cho highlights three key issues addressed in the Report on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women (1970) - universal childcare, violence against women and access to abortion. The film uses historical and contemporary footage to question why new generations of Canadian women are still struggling with these issues. Full film available through NFB, Netflix, or your public library. 

The motherload
CBC documentary "takes an in-depth and new look at the subject of working mothers - the current issues, challenges and triumphs that come from trying or having to do it all".

Research, analysis and commentary

Making Women Count
Making Women Count is an on-going project from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. "It measures the size of Canada's gender gap and offers solutions to the inequalities that persist between women and men in Canada".

Bad Math: Why Budget 2014 fails to add up for women, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 21 Feb 2014

Economic crisis and austerity: The stranglehold on Canada's families, New Socialist, 5 Apr 2012

From women to children: Reframing child care in Canada, Queen's Policy Review, 2010

Global gender gap report 2013, World Economic Forum


Find an IWD event near you at

Toronto rally for child care
Annual IWD rally and march
Saturday March 8, 2014
OISE, 252 Bloor St. W.
11am - marchat 1pm

Entered Date: 
5 Mar 2014
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