FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

IRIS study – The Intersyndicale des femmes asks the government to tackle inequalities amplified by COVID-19

IRIS study – The Intersyndicale des femmes asks the government to tackle inequalities amplified by COVID-19

The Intersyndicale des femmes agrees with the findings of the study by the Institut de recherche et d’information socioéconomique (IRIS) that crises, whether economic, health or environmental, exacerbate inequalities between men and women.

This study, released on the International Day of Women’s Rights, proves once again that women, who already face disadvantages in society, especially racialized women and women in poverty, are hit harder by crises.

In light of these findings, the Intersyndicale insists that the CAQ government preventively use an intersectional gender-based analysis (GBA+) in its budgets, recovery plans and politics. Implementing this measure would finally significantly reduce the inequality gap.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that women have been hit harder by the virus and have suffered greater economic impacts, such as losing their jobs. In addition, there are psychological and social impacts, such as increased domestic violence and domestic work. The current economic model will inevitably lead us to other crises. It is our duty to make the right choices today to prevent deeper inequalities,” declared members of the Intersyndicale des femmes.

In this study and its previous work, the IRIS exposes the deadlock in the government’s classic responses to economic and environmental crises. Austerity, which governments have used countless times in recent years, weakens our health and education systems and public services. There is a much higher proportion of women who work in these three sectors and who use these public services. As for the CAQ government’s green plan, it is proposing avenues that leave out the majority of workers in order to prioritize gross domestic product growth and massive exploitation of natural resources.

“Governments are slow to set up measures to prevent the widening inequalities and to make society more resilient to crisis,” say the Intersyndicale des femmes representatives. Just think of how mandatory overtime is used as a management method, of the work overload and the staff shortage in health, education and early childhood education services. Just think of the financing needs of community groups or how minimum wage is not enough to live on with dignity. “Reasserting the value of and improving the working conditions of women in public and parapublic services, as well as increasing minimum wage for thousands of women in private sector essential services would be committing to a fair transition.”

The Intersyndicale des femmes would like to point out that intersectional gender-based analysis (GBA+) is a great tool that decision-makers can use to move towards greater equality. Unfortunately, as the IRIS shows, the CAQ government is not integrating this tool in its public policy development. “Improving women’s living conditions and reducing inequalities has to stop being a blind spot in recovery plans. Consequently, it is essential that the government give more resources and power to the Secrétariat à la condition féminine to respond to women’s intersectional demands,” says the Intersyndicale on behalf of its members.

Created in 1977, the Intersyndicale des femmes represents nearly 350,000 unionized workers in the public and parapublic sectors, as well as the private sector. The Intersyndicale des femmes is composed of status of women representatives from seven labour organizations: the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS), the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD), the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE), the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), the Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ), and the Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ).