You’ve undoubtedly heard the stories… Newcomers to Canada have been hit hard by the pandemic. And women, particularly racialized women, are suffering from significant, widespread negative impact that could take many years to undo.
Picture Maria’s journey: a single mother of two who arrived in Canada at the beginning of the year, dreaming of a better life for her small family. In March, the crisis left her scrambling. From unaffordable childcare to missing the support system she left behind, Maria had no alternative but to postpone employment in order to care for her children. And she’s not alone in this predicament. Many newcomer women have been laid-off, or have had job offers reversed at the end of February. Others still have had to juggle reduced hours with increased unpaid care duties, such as homeschooling children, or taking care of elders in the family.
According to a recent CBC article, women’s participation in the labour force has reached its “lowest level in 3 decades due to COVID-19”. For our families, this has translated into financial problems to the extent that many are having trouble putting food on the table. The extended isolation, increased pandemic anxiety, and language barriers are all making an already difficult period even harder for immigrant and refugee mothers.
PIRS is stepping up to increase connection and nurture the wellbeing of our participants. From increased outreach support to emergency food assistance, and language classes, we’re helping more families than ever to navigate this crisis. You can help, too. YOUR donation will help us support even more immigrant and refugee mothers with young children through the difficult months ahead.