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Lecture 12

SOSC 1910 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Equal Pay For Equal Work, Gender Pay Gap, Public Sphere

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1910
Dorathy Moore

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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
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
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
Canada was in 7th place in world in 80s, now dropped to 25th place in 2009 on gender gap index measures income
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