Second-Wave Feminism and Labour in Canada

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Canadian workplaces today seem to be a fairly diverse place, with a blend of many religions, ethnicities, and genders present. However, although people preach affirmative action and melting pots in current times, many inequality and power issues still abound. One strikingly noticeable example is gender discrimination. Women in the workforce face many challenges like smaller wages, harassment, male privilege in hiring or promotions, and lack of support when pregnant or raising children. One half of the planet is women, and it can be assumed the same for Canada, but they still face judgment at work because they lack the authority to dispute against big corporations or even their male supervisor. It cannot be argued that…show more content…
al, 1996, p. 65). Minority women faced greater oppression, and were less likely to be hired. If they were lucky enough to find a job, it was usually low-ranking, part-time, and short-term, as employers eagerly replaced them with Caucasians, men or both (Frances et. al, 1996, pp. 69-70). Part-time work was very common, with 25% of female workers part-time in 1989 (Frances et. al, 1996, p. 66), displaying an employer’s reluctance to allow women employees. Even as more females entered the workforce despite resistance, they were still discriminated against due to the current powers in charge.
The main goal of second-wave feminism with regards to women and labour was changing the power structure through legal means to ensure female workers. To begin this movement, a royal commission was called for. The Royal Commission on the Status of Women (RCSW) was created to bring equality to women all over Canada, not just in the workforce. It was needed due to the influx of women at work in the 1960s after large numbers of women stated working in both male and female oriented employment in 1943 due to the Second World War. Many refused to quit their jobs after the war ended and the soldiers returned (Morris, 2013). Although legally allowed to work, it is obvious through widely-known tropes of the time (the good housewife versus bad female labourer) that women were discouraged from working outside the home. Student

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