Understanding gender inequality:
Gender inequality defined:
1. Gender stereotype gender identity & behaviors = unstable, non-polar opposites
2. Dimension of inequality power, material well-being, prestige, stratification
Explaining gender inequality:
1. Liberal feminismequality in education & paid work, changing lows to have equal oppo.
2. Marxist feminismwomen’s unpaid work at home, capitalism replaces by socialism
3. Socialist feminismpatriarchy predates capitalism, Gov subsidized maternal benefits
4. Multiracial feminismwomen domination over other women
Sexual harassmentone person attempts to control another through sexual overtures
Entry of women into the public sphere
Women’s labour force participation rate (working age/full time work)
Sites of work:
Female labour force participation:
1. Canada’s changing economy1920 shift to service sector= typewriter
2. Fertility decline and labour supplyimbalance b/w the labour demands& available
labour supply after WWll, married women worked too
3. Family finance imp source of low-income family
Women are more likely to do unpaid work (home and child care) and report feeling stressed
Women-men: less likely to caring for seniors (still women are more likely than men)
Labour force inequalities:
Occupational segregation and sex typing: Existence of sex segregation in Canada.
Internal labour market/short promotion ladders
Horizontal occupational segregation/ Incomparable worth
Power at work:
1. Glass ceiling effect: women face invisible barriers that prevent them from enter the
highest level of organizations where power is concentrated.
2. Men often supervise women. If women supervise, they do power over other women.
Gender and skill:
1. Skill: ability in performing a given technique or task.
2. Researchers: skill = ranking, income, level of education
3. Jane Gaskell: women are disadvantaged in the skill assigned to job sex-typed as females
4. Skill under evaluation of female sex-typed occupations: a) Wage level-skill requirement b) equal pay for performing jobs of comparable worth
1. Standard work: full time, full year + all benefits: vacation, sick and parental leave
2. Non-standard: part week, part year, limited year contact, self employed, multiple job
3. Part-time work: involving fewer hours of work than is the norm for full time work.
Women tend to work in part time jobs. The nonstandard work is becoming more
common among young people (less security, lower pay, marginal work force)
Women in Canada earn less than men on average. (Gradual improvement)
At the 1976-2008 rate of improvement, women’s earning will equall men’s earnings in 2088.
Explanation of women’s lower pay:
1. Lower wage of women caused by lower productivity &education, women’s family
2. Statistical discrimination: employers make decision to hire and salary of women.
Earning gaps still persist when all situations (education. Job) are same for both sexes.
Birthplace and colour matter:
1. Foreign born women experience gender inequality + other inequalities on the basis of
colour, ethnicity, birthplace and class.
2. Visible minority: Canadian residents except white European and US origin:
a) More likely to employed in low-skill occupation
b) Earn less on average than Canadian born counterparts
Multiracial feminism inequality is not restricted to gender but also include race and
Women’s groups-organizing for change:
1. Social movement: change society by striking, pressure groups, political parties and etc.
2. Women’s movement: improving the conditions of women (feminism)
a) Rely on Gov. funding b) consensus-building approach c) heterogeneity of women’s groups
Gender in politics:
1. Men beliefs: women are narrow minded => they cannot vote at the same rate as men
2. Women &men work in diff. political cultures=>different opp. to participate in politics
3. Women don’t act as a cohesive voting bloc on any issues
Participating in the world of politics:
Women are seldom found in the upper ranks of political parties (rare enough to be newsworthy)
Salvia Bashevkin: women are more likely to be local riding secretaries=clerical work(pink ghetto)
Explaining the political participation of women:
1. Sex-role stereotype: women are less assertive than men 2. The culture of politics is male=> hostile to the participation of women. Emphasize a
woman’s gender rather than her competence:
a) Superwoman: young, intelligent, active, succeeds on all levels
b) Champion: like superwoman but -> older woman politicians with traditional life
c) One of the boys: female politician who adopts the male stance
d) Wife of…: activities and interests of the female politician are linked by the
media to those of her spouse.
3. Gate keeping: political parties effect the gender composition of electoral candidates.
4. Insufficient resources: women earn less than male candidates=> have less to put into a
5. Clash between political and family fire. Politics fails to recognize that politicians also
have personal life and family responsibilities.
Representation by/for women:
Representation by women is not same as representation for women.
Eliminating gender inequality:
Models of change:
Increase access to education and training for members of less privileged groups
Public policy: Gov’s stance on issues and problems statements, actions or inactions.
Government intervention in the labour force affects gender inequality.
Public policy and gender inequality in the labour force:
1. Employment equity: equal treatment of all groups on the paid labour force.
a) Affirmative action:
Setting targets and quotas for the hiring and giving promotion to the members
who forced discrimination in the past
b) Pay equity:
Equal pay for work of equal value in terms of knowledge, complexity,
responsibility and skill.
Correcting the balance-women in politics:
No federal policy is aimed to reduce the gender inequality among elected politicians
Different ways to reduce barriers:
1. Displaying good intentions
2. Reducing economic barriers
3. Recognize family needs and responsibilities of women
4. Weakening or eliminating the gate keeping tradition.
5. Engaging in affirmative action
6. Centralizing decision making in political parties
Canadian Woman Suffrage Association in Toronto in 1883:
Women won the right to vote federally in 1918. Along with that won the right to run for public
office. A woman was first elected to provincial office in 1917 and federal parliament in 1921. Today women’s movement operates at both the grassroots level(from below) and within
established political organizations (from above) to achieve its aims.
1. Liberal feminists: women can participate fully in society if they achieved quality of
opportunity with men.
2. Radical feminists: hold that male domination is rooted in the family. They champion
free and abortion and safe contraception, an equitable division of domestic labour.
3. Socialist feminists: legal equality is not enough to ensure that women can p