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A national day to recognize 'invisible work' in Quebec?

Several groups are calling on Quebec City to recognize an official "National Day of Invisible Work" to be held every first Tuesday in April. (Darryl Dyck/ La Presse Canadienne) Several groups are calling on Quebec City to recognize an official "National Day of Invisible Work" to be held every first Tuesday in April. (Darryl Dyck/ La Presse Canadienne)
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Several groups are calling on Quebec City to recognize an official "National Day of Invisible Work" to be held every first Tuesday in April.

The day would not be considered a statutory holiday but a way to acknowledge people who do "invisible work."

These jobs include looking after children or elderly parents, doing domestic chores, cooking or being a caregiver -- plus the mental workload, such as planning and organizing.

"This invisible work is more often done by women, but men are also affected," said Lise Courteau, provincial president of the Association féministe d'éducation et d'action sociale (AFÉAS).

The call for a "National Day of Invisible Work" was first launched by AFÉAS.

Establishing a day of recognition is not the same as making it a public holiday, nor is it about demanding remuneration, explained Courteau.

"It's a job that deserves to be recognized, that we should take the time to talk about it, to name it," she said, adding it's also "work that's taken for granted."

"This work, predominantly done by women, has great value. It relieves the government of an economic burden, particularly through the work of caregivers, and enables others -- often men -- to work more salaried hours, thanks in particular to childcare by mothers," Courteau added. "It's important to value the people who do the invisible work by making their work visible."

The demand for a national day was the subject of a manifesto supporting the cause, endorsed by 150 organizations and 2,000 individuals.

It was submitted to the office of Quebec's minister responsible for the status of women, Martine Biron, last week, said Courteau.

"We came away from that meeting pretty encouraged; we think there's an opening," she said, adding she feels "optimistic."

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 2, 2024.

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