I was so glad to read Marjorie Griffin Cohen's op-ed piece, Women bear the brunt of poor policy, in Monday's Vancouver Sun. Amid all the speculation about why women voters remain largely unimpressed with Christy Clark, Professor Cohen contributes some vital pieces of factual information.
In short, a concerted government strategy to advantage employers by suppressing wages, has disproportionately affected women.
After 11 years, not only do women's earnings in B.C. trail the national average, they earn only 65 per cent of what men earn.
Perhaps in their rejection of Christy Clark, women voters are making a rational political decision based on sound economic evidence.
My experience over the last year and a half of talking to women voters on their doorsteps would support this theory. They tell me about daughters trying to pay off student loans on barista wages; they tell me about putting careers on hold because they can't find affordable child care; they tell me about taking early retirement to care for elderly parents.
Many of the women I meet aren't buying Christy Clark's "families first" rhetoric. They know that actions speak louder than words and that the B.C. Liberals are deeply committed to a dogma that leaves their families vulnerable to economic forces beyond their control. The women I meet are looking for concrete practical measures that will address growing inequality and bring about a more affordable future.
If polling shows that women do not rank economic performance as highly as men do, perhaps we are asking the wrong questions.
Janet Routledge, NDP candidate, Burnaby North
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