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Homeless Women in Canada - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: A Critical Analysis of Women’s Homelessness in Canada Introduction Currently, homelessness among women is alarmingly high in Canada. It becomes one of the burning questions of the country. Women’s homelessness has increased in number in recent years…
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Homeless Women in Canada

Download file to see previous pages... Studies show the demographic statistics of women’s homelessness in Canada has changed a lot. As a result, women’s homelessness has been to attract various social, political and feminist movements’ attention. Indeed about one hundred years after the first “International Women’s Day”, women’s socio-economic condition in the country has gone down. Whereas ‘safe home’ or shelter is considered as one of the basic needs of human life, women are increasingly being deprived of this right to have a safe home. Indeed, homelessness further causes severe social problems such sex-trafficking, sexual harassment and abuse, violence, unwanted murder, drug trafficking, etc. Homeless women often live in abandoned buildings and places, and often sleep on streets in the urban areas of Canada. But in rural areas, they normally live in slum. Overview of the Problem of Women’s Homelessness When women’s homelessness is mentioned, the traditional picture of a bundled woman sleeping on the city-streets’ sidewalks may come to mind. But the reality about women’s homelessness is very much complex. Various statistics and studies in this field show that approximately “300,000 people are homeless in Canada.” (YWCA Canada, 2012) In 1980s, about 25-30% of these visibly homeless people, who lived on the sidewalks or in shelters in rural areas are women. But in 1990s, the presence of homeless women seeking for shelter in government and non-government asylums increased at a rate of 78% more than the rate in previous years. This increase in the 1990s was mainly contributed by the children of the homeless women whose only earning sources were begging and prostitution. As a result, the number of homeless young women increased at an alarming rate. But the number of families who owned houses previously also increased during the past decades. “Families experience homelessness, and single parent families, mostly led by women, make up the majority of homeless families” (YWCA Canada, 2012). Having no shelter, no roof over their heads and no door to lock behind them for safety, these homeless women remain at a high risk of physical, emotional and psychological dangers. Indeed, because of their physical weakness, women are more vulnerable to outdoor dangers than their male counterparts. In a Fact Sheet prepared by the YWCA Canada (2012), it is said: “Many street-involved women are abuse and trauma survivors struggling with resulting mental health and addiction issues. Yet, there remains a severe shortage of detox beds dedicated to women. Street-focused programs specifically for women are few and far between.” (YWCA Canada, 2012) Causes of Women’s Homelessness in Canada Women are more vulnerable to homelessness than men are. Indeed, women are more vulnerable because of their low income and extended periods of poverty (Townson, 2005). In a study, Monica Townson (2005) claims that “women are the poorest people in Canada” (p. 34). In 2003, about 1500000 women were living in severe poverty. This number is about 19% of the total female population in Canada. Obviously, this poverty-stricken population comprises of women of all ages. But it mostly includes adult women and adolescent girls. The average income rate of the women was 62% of men’s annual income (Statistic Canada, 2006). The number of homeless women varies according to race, age, disabilities, and marital status, etc. The rate of homeless women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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