Femmes, genre et politique

N14(b) - GBA+ in Policy Analysis I

Date: Jun 13 | Heure: 03:30pm to 05:00pm | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Baowen Liang (Université de Montréal)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Candace Johnson (University of Guelph)

Mourn, Organize, Change, Hope: Anti-Violence Activism, Carceral Feminism, and Federal Canadian Public Policy: Bailey Gerrits (St Francis Xavier University)
Abstract: This paper is a part of a larger project investigating the applicability of the critique of carceral feminism – that feminist ideas and actors in favour of increased punishment, policing, and imprisonment have successfully influenced the state to revise its anti-violence policies to focus on carceral systems – to Canada. The critique of carceral feminism has been debated in Canada and applied by some; however, the empirical evidence is limited. What is clear is that carceral responses to gender-based violence in Canada are predominant. The role of feminists/feminism is unclear. In existing gender and politics scholarship in Canada, feminist ideas and actors are often associated with demanding that the federal government take gender-based violence seriously and stop degendering the issue. Yet, carceral responses to gender-based violence in Canada are the mainstay and feminist ideas and actors may have actively or been coopted to contribute to this system. This paper draws on primary and secondary materials and interviews to critically process trace key anti-violence federal policies and initiatives from the 1970s to present. Relying on empirical analysis, the paper challenges the tendency in feminist scholarship to underestimate the effect of anti-violence and feminist advocacy on policy change. It also contributes to understanding the entrenchment of policing and imprisonment as the predominant means of addressing gender-based violence in Canada and it contributes to debates about the role feminist actors play in shaping Canadian public policy.

Gender Based Analysis Plus and the National Housing Strategy: Dedicated Funds for Gender Neutral Policies: Lori Oliver (Queen's University)
Abstract: This study critically examines how Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) operates within Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS). In recognition that women and girls disproportionately experience housing insecurity, the NHS includes a goal of dedicating 25 percent of funds to this key demographic. Progress reports released by the Government of Canada indicate that the goal is being surpassed. However, federal Access to Information and Privacy requests along with interviews with both frontline service providers and lone mothers with lived experience of homelessness illustrate that this GBA+ related commitment is having only minor policy impacts. Despite having a gender-specific funding goal, the vast majority of NHS policies are gender neutral. There is a basic assumption embedded in the NHS that any housing intervention will be of benefit to women and girls given their disproportionate housing need. In reality, many lone mothers continue to struggle to access appropriate housing support. For the NHS to have a meaningful impact on the housing outcomes for women and girls, GBA+ must be more expansively deployed.

Creating a Child Care Oasis: Ensuring Equitable Expansion into Canada’s Child Care Deserts: Kenya Thompson (York University)
Abstract: In 2021, the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan (CWELCC) was launched—an unprecedented federal investment in early learning and child care promising a universal, publicly-funded, non-profit system at a daily cost of $10 for families nationwide—and, notably, a marked shift from the previous majority for-profit provision of child care in Canada. Since signing onto associated bilateral funding agreements, provinces and territories have begun implementing the plan and responding to increased demand of families for affordable care. Though several provinces and territories (as of November 2023) credit themselves as meeting fee reduction targets, many have struggled to create new child care spaces, thus compounding the issue of increased need. Families are only able to enjoy the $10 per day policy if they are able to access a space—and in many child care deserts nationwide, where at least three children compete for one space, many cannot. This inability to meet the urgent demand provides opportunity for corporate providers to fill the gaps with for-profit solutions and poorer quality care. Critically examining the CWELCC through the lens of child care deserts not only highlights the enduring inability of private market actors to ensure equitable expansion to all families who need it, but the importance of creating a public system of child care as part of a robust social policy framework. This paper will consider what equitable service expansion into child care deserts might look like, arguing for the integration of child care into public planning in jurisdictions across Canada.