POLSCI 1G06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Equal Opportunity, Bourgeoisie, Bertha Wilson

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Political Science 1G06 2014 Lecture 5a Feminism
- Is there an inequality in the distribution of power, resources, and
social benefits between men and women – even in liberal-democratic
- Women comprise 50% of the world’s population. However, they only
“own 1% of the world’s property and resources”
- In Canada, women who work full-time have earnings (median) that
are only 81% that of men who work full-time (2013)
- Amongst Fortune 500 companies, only 23 are run by women (2014)
-Political: Only 25% of the Members of the House of Commons in
Canada are women (76 in House of Commons)
oBetter than the worldwide average of 21.8% (2013)
-Qualitative indicators:
- Cases where women are subject to social practices, often sanctioned
through the law, that men are not likewise subject to
- Women are frequently portrayed differently (and disadvantageously)
in the world of discourse/speech
- In sum, there exists an overwhelming disparity between the number of
women, their representation in leadership positions, the extent of their
economic reward, and the extent of their actual power
- The question is why?
- Why is it the case, in almost every society around the world, that
women’s choices, opportunities, and power are more restricted than
-Patriarchy – an unequal social system based upon the privileging
of “masculine” characteristics and activities at the expense of
those considered to be feminine. The net effect is that one gender
(female) is exploited by another (male)
- There are a number of different answers as to why patriarchy exists
and what should be done about it:
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