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Lecture 12

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Social Science
SOSC 1910
Dorathy Moore

1210 – Wednesday, March 3, 2010 Strategies for change: Women – the claim for categorical rights 1) Changes in the public sphere  Without restructure of public sphere, private sphere will remain unequal & women will be in subordinate social position forever  Public sphere have no room for our private life  Not enough to just tinker at the edges, for 65+ years, for more humane world both genders, public sphere has to alter structure  Making systemic discrimination argument  fact public sphere is structured by men for men who are in a hypothetical nuclear family, men have no family responsibility b/c of dependent wife  Wage gap between women & men fluctuate between 29 – 40% but single women w/ no children or family or burden, only 5% wage inequality  Can’t just look at treatment of women a) Job qualifications and postings  Artificial job criteria, height & weight restrictions irrelevant to job position  Eg. Police, 5’11 & 180 pounds, indirect  Eg. Action Jrawail des Femmes  tribunal ordered CN to publicly remove restrictions & hire women  1999 supreme court ruling in BC, no women could accomplish firefighting requirements, said cannot set bar so high b) Pay equity  UDHR after WW2, UN passed convention on equal pay to acknowledge women’s contribution to war effort  Notwithstanding its passage in early 50s, Canada did not ratify it until late 50s  Legislation & convention designed to deal w/ wage gap that came from having different wage schedules for equal jobs  Didn’t achieve much change, except women less likely hired into men’s job  Women & men not doing same work, didn’t provide access for women into “men’s work”  Gender based advertising removed  1972, Canada accepted “equal pay for equal work value worth”  Discrimination based on unequal pay, not until 1986, gov’t only dealt with federal employee  Didn’t use codes, passed pay equity acts  public & private corporations  Skill, effort, responsibilities, working conditions  Result over last 20 years, wage gap of about 29% sometimes lower, legislation helped a bit  1995, Ontario gov’t cut pay equity budge in half, enforcement was ineffective  Eliminated pay equity legal clinic  2005, gov’t stopped pay equity compensation entirely after Charter challenged that in effect said govt’s don’t need to pay out compensation if they can’t afford it (Newfoundland case)  Feb 2009, Harper gov’t passed Bill C10, public sector compensation act  pay equity dealt with in collective/bargaining process, put union against employer  Arbitrator is to take market forces into account  Average family needs 76 weeks of work to survive, women need to work, poor need 86 weeks c) Employment equity law  Assumes workplace is organized in neutral way, and women are as available as men and men are as involved in child duties as women are  Legislation is based on our current workplace structures & schedules  Does not advocate changes to structure so we can accommodate family for both genders  Ontario, took until 1993 to develop employment equity act, after 2 years complaint in legislature, after 3 months stopped d) Sexual harassment law  Most provinces & federal gov’t have provisions within codes for sexual harassments  Appeared in mid 80s when movement to try to stop women from being dealt as sex objects  Important in male dominant fields  law & courts  HR code covered all employees but problem w/ legislation is HR code complaint based, long drawn out process  complaint, addressed, psychologically drain women Results of the fight against systemic discrimination in employment – data th th  Canada was in 7 place in world in 80s, now dropped to 25 place in 2009 on gender gap index  measures income rd  2009, Canada dropped to 73 place in UN gender disparity index  measures poverty, violence  Strongly criticized by HR bodies on issue of women poverty, recent report done by academics submitted to UN totally different from Federal reports of how well women are 2) Changes to the public/private interface a) Reassignment of duties during pregnancy  Try to look at motherhood/parenting issues  Earlier labour arbitration case, no legislative protection for women @ hazardous conditions while pregnant o Involved Orangeville police, laid off pregnant police, the Chief reassigned a male office w/ broken leg so arbitrator decided could certainly do the same for pregnant b) Maternity leave  Started out as benefit to women only, for last 15 years extended to “parental leave” both genders  Generally women take it b/c men makes more c) Childcare/eldercare  The more women behave like men the better they do  Intervening variable in which systemic discrimination manifest itself that women still do vast majority of unpaid labour in the home & men benefit from it 
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