Magazine article Herizons

Driven Apart: Women's Employment Equality and Child Care in Canadian Public Policy

Magazine article Herizons

Driven Apart: Women's Employment Equality and Child Care in Canadian Public Policy

Article excerpt

UBC PRESS, 2002

Most women have paying jobs and most caring for children is done by women: the consequences of these two facts are far-reaching. Among them are that adequate child care and employment equity are essential if women are to be full and equal participants in society.

So why haven't the public and domestic dimensions of women's work been fully addressed in federal policies? In Driven Apart: Women's Employment Equality and Child Care In Canadian Public Policy, Annis May Timpson grapples with this question.

The book, rich with interviews and behind-the-scenes stories, tracks how the Trudeau, Mulroney and then Chretien governments finessed both government restructuring as well as formal commitments to equality. These governments were willing to take steps on public programs like affirmative action, but were loath to move in the sphere of private family responsibilities such as child care. Thus, employment policies and child care were `driven apart.'

The 1982 formation of the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association reactivated demands for federal leadership on childcare. The birth of a national, single-issue child care movement, however, reinforced the distinction between questions about women's employment and those of child care. …

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