“She-Cession”: Trudeau Highlights Need for “Feminist Approach” to Pandemic Recovery


On Monday, a video message celebrating International Women’s Day was released on YouTube featuring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. In the video, the couple outlined the Canadian government’s plan to create an “Action Plan for Women in the Economy”.

The Prime Minister and his wife, presenting themselves as feminists at the beginning of the video, stated that “women are bearing the brunt of the impact of COVID-19” in a so-called “she-cession”. The couple asserted that “racialized and marginalized women” have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the Canadian government is “committed” to a “feminist approach” to recovery. As part of this recovery, the government will create an “Action Plan for Women in the Economy” and a “Canada-wide early learning and child care system”, with the government also providing support to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres across the country.

In a subsequent interview released yesterday, Mr Trudeau commented on the “she-cession”, stating that “numbers show how hard women have been hit” and that this “increase[s]” with the introduction of an intersectional lens. The Prime Minister stated that the data has “highlighted” a “broken” system and recognition of the “systemic inequalities and systemic discrimination” in this system reveals a system that “isn’t necessarily broken” but “working exactly the way it was built”.

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