Women face multiple barriers to income security, including the gender wage gap, violence in the workplace, precarious employment and a lack of affordable childcare. Income security may include access to income, employment, education, social assistance, and child and spousal support. Economic security is often the primary factor that influences a woman’s ability to leave an abuser or not return to an abusive situation.
Women face high levels of poverty that can leave them dependent on abusive partners or vulnerable to exploitation. Women continue to experience income inequality and tend to work low-paid jobs in vulnerable conditions. Some populations of women, including racialized women, women living with disabilities and immigrant women, are disproportionately impacted by unstable, precarious and low-income employment.
Women often tell us that they encounter income-support policies and programs that are more focused on rules and obligations than they are on entitlements or exceptions. Furthermore, women face barriers to workforce participation including a lack of affordable childcare, violence in the workplace and the historical undervaluation of women’s work.
We conduct research into women’s experiences navigating safety nets, workforce participation, work-family policies and employer practices. We analyze public policies and make recommendations on how to improve income-security policies and programs. We also work closely with employers to improve workplace practices and foster safe working environments.