Earlier this week, Statistics Can released new data showing that the gap in wages between men and women continues to persist in Canada. In fact, because we only earn 74.2 cents for every dollar that full-time male workers earn, it is only sometime next week that our annual earnings for 2016 will be equivalent to those of men.
This analysis does not even begin to account for the unpaid labour that women provide or for the value of traditional women’s work and handicraft. In 2013, it was estimated that Canadian women perform 25 billion hours of unpaid work every year, worth about $319 billion or 41% of GDP. More recently, there has been a move to reclaim some of women’s domestic work – the Brooklyn Museum now has a gallery for permanent installation of Judy Chicago’s foundational work entitled ‘The Dinner Party’, and through ‘craftivism’, many women (and men) have combined expertise in the domestic arts with activism through actions like yarn-bombing, knitterventions, and public crafting sessions.
I’m a knitter, and it was with great pride that I brought my knitting with me to work today. I’m knitting in my meetings, I’m knitting during conference calls, and I’ll be joining a Knit Activist event tonight. I’m intentionally bringing the personal into the public in recognition of all the work that women do – paid, unpaid, domestic, hidden, exploited – so join me in wearing your pussyhat with pride as we celebrate International Women’s Day.
– Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-President, Equity & Inclusion