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Did you know senior women are twice as likely to live in poverty as men?
For too many women in Canada, retirement means only financial struggle. Senior women are twice as likely to live in poverty as men. 30% of elderly women on their own live below the poverty line. Women are far more reliant on OAS and GIS than men. In 2011, 30% of senior women's total income was from OAS and GIS, compared to only 18% for senior men.

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October 1, 1921 (1998) - Margaret Hillis, founded the Tanglewood Alumni Chorus (1950) and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, replaced Conductor Solti in directing Mahler's Eighth Symphony (1977)

October 1, 1935 - Dame Julie Andrews, versatile film and stage actress, won an academy award for "Mary Poppins" (1954)

October 2, 1895 (1990) - Ruth Streeter, when Marines recruited women she became a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (1943), recruited men and women for active service

October 2, 1912 (1980) - Alice Bourneuf, economist, worked on the Marshall Plan to help Europe after World War II, taught economics at Boston College (1959-77)

October 2, 1919 (1997) - Shirley Clarke, filmmaker, produced avant-garde films in 1950s and 60s including "Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World," which won an academy award for best feature documentary

October 3, 1897 (1982) - Ruth Bronson, Bureau of Indian Affairs official who got loans for Indian students, National Congress of American Indians forced authorities to honor treaties (1944), wrote Indians are People, Too

October 4, 1908 (1995) - Eleanor Flexner, influential author and historian, wrote Century of Struggle: The Women's Rights Movement in the United States (1950) and Mary Wollstonecraft: A Biography (1972)

October 5, 1959 - Maya Lin, artist and architect of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. (1980-82) and other public sculptures, author of Boundaries (2000)

Labor Day: What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Source: US Department of Labor website

A Growing Concern: Ontario's Gender Pay Gap
The pay gap between men and women in Ontario is getting worse and will continue to do so without government involvement, says a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) report titled "A Growing Concern: Ontario's Gender Pay Gap".

Among the report's key findings:

  • Based on average annual earnings of Ontario men and women, the Ontario gender pay gap in 2010 was 28% – on average, women made 72 cents for every man's dollar.
  • In 2011, the gap grew to 31.5% –women made 68.5 cents for every man's dollar.
  • In dollar terms: men's average annual earnings increased by $200 – from $48,800 in 2010 to $49,000 in 2011 – but women's average earnings decreased by $1,400 – from $35,000 in 2010 to $33,600 in 2011.

Read the report >

Pay Equity Commission: Gender Wage Gap and Earnings in Ontario

  • From 1998 to 2012, the average hourly female-to-male earnings ratio ranged from 81% to 87% for full-time and part-time Ontario workers over the age of 15.
  • In 2012, on average, men earned $3.33 more per hour than women compared to $3.96 in 2008.
  • The female-to-male earnings ratio varies by age. Younger women have the strongest earning power in relation to their male counterparts. Both young men and women however earn relatively low hourly wages compared to older workers.

Pay Equity Commission's Full Report >

The Economic Status of Women of Color
The Women's Bureau of the United States Department of Labour recently released a document titled "The Economic Status of Women of Color". This report provides a picture of Black, Hispanic, and Asian working women in the America. Highlights of areas covered include:

  • women's contribution to family income;
  • educational attainment and likelihood of unemployment;
  • occupational distribution and impact on pay;
  • the impact of the gender wage gap on the retirement income of older women.

Read the report >

Canadian Labour Congress – Women’s Economic Equality Fact Sheets
Working Women: Still a Long Way from Equality >
Women of Colour: A Double Whammy >
Child Care: it should be Child's Play >
Pay Equity: What is a hardworking woman like you doing in a pay gap like this? >
Women & Pensions: Will you still bleed me when I'm 64? >
Young Woman Meet Gap-zilla >
Unions are a Girl's Best Friend >

Department of Professional Employees AFL-CIO
Professional Women: A Gendered Look at Occupational Obstacles and Opportunities >

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Sisters in Society