Pensions and Unpaid Work: A Reflection on Four Decades of Feminist Debate
(2012) 24 Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 180-206
27 Pages Posted: 30 May 2012 Last revised: 2 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2012
Pension reform has been the subject of considerable inquiry and debate in recent years. Largely absent in these debates, however, has been the discussion of how to account for women’s unpaid and socially necessary work within the pension system. This article examines this seemingly enduring problem by looking at the debates about unpaid work and pensions since the publication in 1970 of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada. It reflects on the fact that despite changes to the Canada Pension Plan, and other more modest changes within the pension system, women’s financial security in retirement is still largely defined by their wage-earning history or their attachment, by way of the household, to a wage earner.
Keywords: pensions, unpaid work, gender
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