Gender Inequality and Post-Secondary Education in Canada

2381 WordsFeb 27, 201410 Pages
Gender Inequality and Post-Secondary Education in Canada INTRODUCTION Historically, gender differences have been at the core of social and economic injustice and women have faced fundamental disadvantages (Tepperman & Curtis, 2011, p. 351). Despite recent changes in formal equality – the introduction of protection for women in the Constitution Act, 1982 and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for example - informal barriers are still present which lead to the discrimination of women (Tepperman & Curtis, 2011, p. 89). The Canadian education system has not been immune to the effects of discrimination towards women; in fact, some argue that schools have been a vessel for inequality (Knudson-Martin &…show more content…
362). An area that this theory may be placed emphatically is on the issue of gender inequality in the post-secondary educational system. Throughout Canadian history, females have been marginalized in the educational system. For example, before Confederation, young girls attended school with boys, but were often pulled out of school in order to fulfill familial duties (Tepperman & Curtis, 2011, p. 351). When these young women did attend school and show an interest in post-secondary education, they were guided into fields such as nursing and education (Tepperman & Curtis, 2011, p. 351 & Macneill, 2011). At one point in history, women were completely banned form attending medical school (a typically male-dominated field) (Tepperman & Curtis, 2011, p. 351). Additionally, many of the most highly ‘skilled’ and well-paid jobs such as doctor and lawyer are still predominately held by males (Fausto-Sterling, 1992, p. 5 & MacNeill, 2011). The discrimination of women in post-secondary education has had a direct influence on socioeconomic inequality between men and women. Banks (1988) argues that although the overt sexual discrimination against women in law schools is decreasing, an even more damaging form of covert sexism and gender-bias remains (Banks, 1988, p. 137). Throughout the 1970s, law schools catered specifically
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