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Gender pay gap is a significant problem of discrimination all over the world. Women are subjected to lower pay scales even though they are equally educated and trained as men. This type of discrimination arises from the perception that women are provided financial security by men and they are ought to take care of home and children and thus men are more proficient in the career selected. According to a report published in The Globe and Mail, gender parity in workplaces in Canada is not yet practiced. The updated statics of Statics Canada Data projects the existing gap in every region and major occupational sectors1. The report also displays that the differences in remunerations between women and men have scarcely been changed over the past two decades, even though educational standard of women has exceeded from that of the men2.

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Factors responsible for gender pay gap are disparity in practices such as recruiting, compensation and promotion in workplaces, choice of women in leaving and re-entering into the workplace. It is caused due to the responsibilities towards new born and family, resulting in loss of opportunities and seniority, etc. . Therefore, the inequality in pay gap affects the percent of women workforce adversely, that are working in private sectors in Canada. The number of working mothers in North America and Canada has been growing along with the demand for childcare programs by middle and upper income families. Table 1 shows that Public policymakers of Quebec, Canada have successfully responded to the growing need of large subsidies for low and middle-income families for early childcare 4. Therefore, there had been a demand to extend such benefits of childcare programs nationwide.

Table 1: Policy Debate; Quebec Family Policy

Year Children’s Age Provision ($)
1997 Only 5 years old $ 4 per day
1997 4 & 5 years old $ 4 per day
1998 3 to 5 years old $ 5 per day
1999 3 to 5 years old $ 5 per day
1999 2 to 5 years old $ 5 per day
2000 All children less than 2 

to 5 years

$ 5 per day

Source: Author’s Creation

The Universal Childcare Policy of Canada has sparked a debate over the effectiveness of this policy for single, cohabiting and married women and their children 3.Under this policy, there has been an increment in the usages of childcare subsidies by one-third over the last few years. Contrarily, it was also stated in The Globe and Mail that the condition of children under this policy has worsened over the decades in the dimensions of health and behavior 4. People questioned the effect of the policy on families as it resulted to deteriorating mental conditions of parents, inconsistent way of parenting and lower satisfaction from relationships especially for the working mothers4.

Gender pay gap was reflected in Universal Childcare Programs, as disparity in payments to the women workforce in the private sectors of Canada and the USA still persists. It becomes difficult for working mothers to earn a decent wage and maintain their family and children. Pay inequality becomes a severe threat to low wage workers, as it is difficult for the mothers to manage the needs of their child. It was reported in the UN Women Report (2017) that lack of proper health care programs compel working women to accept poor quality of healthcare services for their children or entrust their responsibility to other family members. The care economy of Canada thus fails to support gender pay equality as women have to pursue low paid job.

Figure 1: Gender Pay Gap in Canada

Source: CPA Canada, 2015

Figure 1 projects an example of disparity in remuneration of men and women, thus projecting gender differences. It also displays various factors responsible behind gender pay inequality in Canada such as ineffective work life balances, pay practices, organizational policies, etc. Therefore, considering the above factors, further research is required in the field of healthcare programs in Canada to support the women to raise their children efficiently without any subsequent hindrance in their career.


In order to achieve improved healthcare facilities in the Universal Childcare System, a cross-sectional survey of parents, teachers and staff is highly recommended. It is also necessary to develop a definite Canadian policy and program databank to track the innovations in policy design and analysis of effectiveness of the program to be undertaken. It is also recommended to develop a transparent policy to highlight the changes in healthcare programs through affordable childcare programs and services, especially for women in lower and middle-income groups.

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  1. “What is Gender Wage Gap?” Pay Equity Commission. Accessed September 16, 2017. 
  2. Colapinto, Robert. “The CPA Gender Pay Gap”. CPA. Assessd September 16, 2015. 
  3. Cotter, Anne-Marie Mooney. Gender Injustice: An International Comparative Analysis of Equality in Employment. Routledge, 2017.
  4. Grant, Tavia. “Who is minding the gap?” The Globe and Mail. Accessed September 16, 2017. 
  5. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, “Equal Pay Matters”. UN Women. Accessed September 16, 2017. 
  6. Picker, Les. “Canada’s Universal Childcare Hurt Children and Families”. The National Bureau of Economic Research. Accessed September 16, 2017. 
  7. Roemer, John E. Equality of Opportunity. Harvard University Press, 2009.
  8. Sloane, Peter, Paul Latreille, and Nigel O’Leary. Modern Labour Economics. Routledge, 2013.
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