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Standing Committee on the Status of Women
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent de la condition féminine

For immediate release


The Standing Committee on the Status of Women Tables its Report on Factors Contributing to Senior Women’s Poverty and Vulnerability

Ottawa, June 17, 2019 -

The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women (the Committee) tabled its report entitled A Lifetime of Dedication: Helping Senior Women Benefit from their Lifelong Contributions to Canadian Society today.

The Committee conducted this study with the understanding that as the relatively large baby boomer generation ages and life expectancy in Canada continues to increase, the proportion of the population over 65 years of age is increasing at a faster rate than any other age group. In Canada, senior women outnumber and outlive senior men; however, senior women face social and economic challenges that many senior men do not, and these challenges can negatively affect their quality of life.

The Committee heard testimony from 54 witnesses, 10 of whom appeared as individuals, 11 as representatives for five federal departments and agencies, and the remainder representing 18 organizations, between February and May 2019. In addition, the Committee received 24 written briefs from individuals and organizations. In its report, the Committee provides an overview of senior women’s economic security, their health and wellness, and their experiences of discrimination and violence. More specifically, the report examines issues related to:

  • the gender wage gap and employment;
  • caregiving;
  • the affordability and availability of housing and transportation services;
  • the costs of medication;
  • the availability of home and community care;
  • social isolation;
  • ageism; and
  • elder abuse.

The Committee believes that any approach to ensuring healthy aging and a good quality of life for all of Canada’s seniors must include the intersecting perspectives of diverse groups of senior women and must respect senior women’s rights to independence and autonomy.

In its report, the Committee makes 27 recommendations to provide guidance to the Government of Canada on measures that could be implemented to reduce levels of poverty among senior women, improve senior women’s physical and mental health as well as their quality of life as they age, and eliminate discrimination and violence against senior women.

The report can be consulted on the Committee’s web page on the Parliament of Canada website.

The Standing Committee on the Status of Women has 11 members. It is chaired by Karen Vecchio (Elgin — Middlesex — London) and co-chaired by Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre) and Irene Mathyssen (London — Fanshawe). The other members of the Committee are Rachel Bendayan (Outremont), Bob Bratina (Hamilton East — Stoney Creek), Terry Duguid (Winnipeg South)*, Rachael Harder (Lethbridge), Emmanuella Lambropoulos (Saint-Laurent), the Hon. K. Kellie Leitch (Simcoe — Grey), Eva Nassif (Vimy) and Sonia Sidhu (Brampton South).

* Non-voting member pursuant to Standing Order 104(5).

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For more information, please contact:
Kenza Gamassi, Clerk of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women
Tel: 613-943-5376