Reclaiming Lives

6. The work women do to maintain family and household is of economic value.

  • One study estimates that for Canada, in 1981, the value of household work equaled Nancy Reid between 35-40 per cent of the gross national product (GNP: the added accumulation of the value of goods and services produced in a community) (Wilson 62).

7. Raising children is an economic activity that influences and is influenced by the economy.

  • When there is real choice to have children the decision is often based on a family's economic security.

  • Women's continued participation in the labour force after childbirth depends on family income, the possibility of employment and the availability, affordability, and quality of child care.

  • The quality of services affecting children, such as education, health, recreation, and economic opportunity, varies by region depending on the socio-economic priorities and policies at all government levels, and many families have to make choices about where they live based on those quality of service issues.

8. Everyone has the right to economic independence.

  • The basic components of economic independence are adequate shelter, food, and an annual income above the poverty line. Equality of opportunity, a basic belief of Canadian society, implies that men and women have the same opportunities to use the tools needed to reach economic independence. These include appropriate education, job training, and support services such as affordable child care and employment.

    We welcome discussion about the use of grounding assumptions, the process of developing them, and experiences in working with women on economic development. Please call or write the Women's Research Centre, #101, 2245 West Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6K 2E4, (604) 734-0485.

Article reprinted from WEdf, Fall 1988, Volume 6, Number 4. Nancy Reid's graphic reprinted from WEdf Spring 1995, Volume 11, No.3.

Diana Ellis works as a consultant on planning, evaluation and action research for community groups and agencies. Her most recent publication is "Finding Our Way - A Participatory Evaluation Method for Family Resource Programs."

Northern British Columbia Women's Task Force. Report on Single Industry Communities. Vancouver: Women's Research Centre, 1977.

Nancy Reid
Nency Reid

Wilson, S. J. Women, the Family and the Economy. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1982.

Women Against the Budget and Women's Research Centre. "The Exclusion of Women from Economic Planning." The Other Macdonald Report. Eds. Drache and Cameron. Lorimer, 1985.

Women's Research Centre. Women and the Economy Kit. Vancouver: Women's Research Centre, 1986.

Women's Research Centre. Beyond the Pipeline. Vancouver: Women's Research Centre, 1979.

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