Poverty in Canada
Sociology 1000: Writing Assignment
How can there be so many people in poverty? It is all around us even though Canada has made the G20 Richest Nations; they still have one of the highest poverty rates for in the industrialized world. Through reading many articles such as Ann Duffy and Nancy Mandell’s “Poverty in Canada”, others that I have found online, and my own personal experience I have learned the numerous reasons why so many people in a well industrialized nation such as Canada are struggling with poverty. WORD JOURNAL
Duffy and Mandell portray many themes around poverty in their article “poverty in Canada”, but there is one word that really symbolizes the main theme, and that is inequality. Inequality: the position of being unequal; lack of equality. Most of the impoverishment in Canada comes from the minority groups of the nation; unattached women over 65, single-headed females, disabled people, minimum wage workers, people receiving social assistance/EI benefits, and new immigrants or aboriginal Canadians. These minority groups are being targeted with low-waged jobs which lead them to not having enough to provide the basic necessities. Targeted with inequality the most are women because they fall into each category of those hit with poverty. “Poverty in Canada” really focuses on the feminization of poverty in Canada. While the reasons behind women’s impoverishment are complex they have much to do with traditional gender ideologies, inequalities in the labour force, and flaws in our family law and responses to marriage breakdown (Duffy & Mandell, 2004, p.90). Women are expected to stay home doing household duties and raising children while the men are out making the money. So when women enter the workforce they are underpaid and are given less hours showing a prime example that women are not treated equally. Although women fall into every category and have the biggest poverty rate there are still many men that experience poverty as well.
Tangled in with the inequality and poverty of women is the poverty of children. Children constitute more than one-quarter of our poor and the child poverty rate in Canada is, with exception of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, the highest in the industrialized world (Duffy & Mandell, 2004, p.92). These children are not receiving the same quality of life as kids that come from wealthier. They probably will not get a higher education, their health care is minimal, and they sometimes will not receive things that help them grow up in the industrialized world around them, like computers, television, or the opportunity to be on sports teams. These are things that cost money that they do not have, which excludes them and makes them feel unequal to the majority of people around them. These children are poor because their parents are poor and their parents’ poverty often stems from unemployment, underemployment, inadequate minimum-wage levels, and reduced social welfare supports (Duffy & Mandell, 2004, p.93)
Another big group of people treated unfairly are those receiving social assistance or minimum wage employment; these people are hardly getting enough money to survive. Many are “welfare poor” because social assistance they receive is below the income cut-offs (Duffy & Mandell, 2004, p.88). Though minimum wages and the amount of money received from social assistance may increase, it does not increase enough to keep up with the enormous increase in the cost of goods and services. People who are classified as poor, have to spend more than fifty per cent on basic necessities- leaving few or no funds for transportation, health, personal care, education, household operation, recreation, or insurance (Duffy & Mandell, 2004, p.88) These people are treated unequally because they cannot afford the wanted pleasures of life. Personal Response
After reading the article “Poverty in Canada” I now...
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