Families incomes and standard of living increase when spouses, partners, mothers and grown daughters earn higher wages.
Valuing womens work means putting a greater emphasis on female dominated sectors like health, education and child care. For instance many child workers earn a pittance compared to those who care for cars. The more visible womens undervalued and unpaid work becomes, the less governments and private employers are able to get away with cutting back essential services or paying poverty-level salaries.
Men also benefit when women earn more. As economic gender barriers break open, men who work in sectors that are predominantly female will see their own incomes rise as their jobs are better paid.
Recognizing womens childbearing and child-rearing needs through benefits which provide for maternity, Employment Insurance, parental leave and other essential accommodations, is good for both parents. When womens needs are recognized, mens needs become visible as well.
Ending the wage gap helps to break down other forms of discrimination. When we challenge the status quo, we shake up the foundation of assumptions that certain groups of workers, depending on their looks, culture or able-bodiedness are less deserving of decent wages and benefits than others. If one of us cannot be discriminated against, then none of us can.
Raising womens wages means giving women more choice. Women hold quadruple roles in our society, in the workplace, union, home and community. By raising womens wages and improving working conditions, we create an environment where women are freer to choose how they contribute without taking on excessive workloads. And that helps us all.