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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Inequality in Canadian Women through Politics and Employment [Gender and Knowledge Essay]

This is a research essay I did in my Gender and Knowledge class with Rachel Morris as my instructor at Champlain. It was finished on April 26, 2012. I got a 90% on this assignment.

Enjoy reading my argumentative essay on inequality between men and women.

          The issue of inequality in Canada has been going on for over 80 years when female suffragettes were raised to accomplish the same rights and privileges as men and avoid gender discrimination. Two waves of feminism were done in Quebec which brings the issue of gender inequality into perspective. The first was an organization formed in 1929 to advance women’s movement (Noël par. 4); by 1940, women were enfranchised with the right to vote (Noël par. 5). The second feminist wave was in the 1960s, when three feminist groups sought action to change the social and political structures of both men and women (Noël par. 8). Unfortunately, the issue of gender inequality is still present today, even if Canada had two waves of feminism. This essay brings the issue up through how women are misrepresented, how they do not have pay that’s equal to men, and how they are being discriminated in the workplace.

The misrepresentation of women in the federal government has led to the need for female equality to be ignored, or receive insufficient attention compared to other major issues in Canada. Only 22% of the seats in the federal Parliament are occupied by women (Galloway par. 7). This proportion has made women a small minority that does not allow their voices to be heard, because although the proportion difference does not contribute to having only men run the Parliament, women were not able to stop the Conservatives’ attack on the women’s movement in October 2006 (Genge par. 1 and 7). If they were not attacked, women would occupy more of the federal seats. Unfortunately, the attack was on rejecting a proactive pay equity legislation; cancelling the provincial / federal child care agreements, and the Court Challenges Program; and cutting Status of Women Canada’s budget (Genge par. 7).  Women did not received the advantages of better child care; salaries that are more equal to men; and having optimistic support for their socio-political movement from equality support by the Status of Women Canada (Genge par. 7). In addition to the issue of hampered female participation in politics, the Parliament is run more by men than women (Cool sect. 2.1, par. 1). A reason for this is because women have lower salaries than men (Cool sect. 2.1, par. 1).

            For every dollar a man makes, Canadian-born women make 71 cents, on average. Women of color make 64 cents a dollar, and aboriginal women make 46 cents (Genge par. 3). There are still women that make more or less money than the average because the average doesn’t mean that all women make absolutely 71 cents. However, between men and women, the general wage gap has only narrowed slightly since 1960 (Galloway par. 7). As more job opportunities opened up since then, it became difficult to achieve equal pay because of dependence on the skills of a field. Some jobs in a field are dominated by men or women; for example, 76.1% of the field of education is occupied by women in university and 67% of the field of social, behavioral and law sciences in university is occupied by women as well, according to Statistics Canada (Turcotte, table 9). Women need to make the same amount of money as men because of extra child-care responsibilities; especially those that are single. “And stats continue to tell us that women still take primary responsibility for children (Genge par. 4).” When women need to take care of their children, they have to schedule a time each day for this task because men are not capable of doing all child care responsibilities. Therefore, women cannot work the same number of hours a day as men. In addition, they have more unpaid work than men which reduces their opportunities to be in the paid work force (“Women & The Economy”, par. 3).

             Women are experiencing one form of gender discrimination in the workplace (“Gender Discrimination” par. 1). Gender discrimination is a disadvantage in achieving equality, because unless it can be recognized by the people women want to work for, due to its nature, it creates isolation and can make women be recognized as a social minority. This is true even if the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does state as a right that every individual in Canada is equal. Some women are less considered for job advancements than their male counterparts, since there are employers that have misconceptions about women; employers are scared that women will not be able to come in and work as much as men because of how they need pregnancy leave, have child care responsibilities and have family obligations (“Gender Discrimination” par. 5). In addition, women have an attitude, in the position of administration, where they lack the characteristics of a good leader, including rationalism and decision skills (“Gender Discrimination” par. 7). An executive woman can make decisions that are not business effective or keep a worker who, according to a male executive, should be fired. Because they are being stereotyped, women need to work harder to achieve the same positions as their co-workers (“Gender Discrimination” par. 6).

            On these grounds, it is clear that men still have an advantage over women in their economic and political perspectives throughout the country. Women are being misrepresented in the Federal Parliament where there are not enough voices to have the government pay attention or notice the issue. Even though women can make more money or less money, on average, they make less than 75 cents per dollar a man makes. Finally, women are being discriminated, in their workplace, on the basis of sex in their workplace. Canada still has the issue of gender inequality; it must be protested to have the politicians recognize it and then be put into discussion. If there is more investigation applied to the issue of gender inequality and it becomes publicized, it is more likely for the public to protest against gender inequality and have the government start recognizing it as a priority over Canada’s other issues.


Galloway, Gloria. “Third wave’ of feminism urged by prominent Canadian women.”The Globe and Mail on the Web 9 Sep. 2010. Web. 24 Mar 2012.

Genge, Sue. "WOMEN ARE EQUAL." Our Times 26.1 (Feb/Mar 2007): 11-13. Web. 27 Mar 2012

Turcotte, Martin. Women in Education: Women in Canada 2010-2011 - A gender-based statistical report. [Ottawa]: Status of Women Canada, 2011. Web. 27 Mar 2012.

Cool, Julie. Women in Parliament (05-62E). [Ottawa]: Parliament of Canada, 2010. Web. 17 Apr 2012.

Women & The Economy – What are the Causes? UNPAC of Winnipeg, March 2011. Web. 19 Apr 1012.

Gender Discrimination in the Workplace – Canadian Labour Relations., (n.d.). Web. 19 Apr 2012.

Noël, Mathieu. Quebecfeminism  | Thematic Tours| MuséeMcCordMuseum. McCordMuseum of Montreal, (n.d.). Web. 22 Apr 2012.

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