Women and Income Security in the Post-War Period: The Case of Unemployment Insurance


Porter, Ann. 1993. “Women and Income Security in the Post-War Period: The Case of Unemployment Insurance, 1945-1962.” Labour/Le Travail 31: 111-44.

Author: Ann Porter


Federal labour market policies after World War II crucially shaped both the nature of women's labour force participation and their access to the postwar welfare state's social security provisions. This article explores how Canadian federal policy helped shape women's economic status during that period by examining how they fared in the unemployment insurance (Ul) scheme from the end of the war until the early 1960s. It is argued that the federal state, in part through the implementing of the UI plan, played a critical role in reinforcing women's marginal economic position. In the case of Ul, this occurred by channelling women into low-wage sectors and by limiting women's access to income security benefits. The latter resulted, in particular, from a special Ul regulation for married women which was in effect from 1950 to 1957. The rationale for this regulation, its implications for women, and the  factors leading to its eventual revocation, is a major focus of the article (Porter, 1993, 111).

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 1993

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