Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

The Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal on a landmark pay equity case. The Canada Post union, Public Service Alliance of Canada, has been ensnared in a battle with Canada Post over their 1983 claim that female Canada Post employees were being discriminated against as they were receiving less pay than men in similar jobs.

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According to statements made by the Equal Pay Coalition (http://www.equalpaycoalition.org/what_is.php) and statistics Canada, Canadian women make an average of 29% less than men.  A statistic that is worsened in cases involving racial minority women (who earn an average of 36% less than men) and Aboriginal women (who earn an average of 54% less than men).
I spent a significant amount of time this summer discussing the issues of discrimination and equality in Canada with Canadian youth.  The focus of these discussions varied from person to person and touched on everything from unequal opportunities for immigrants and refugees to discrimination towards youth in convenience stores.  Surprisingly, sexism was generally not a common point of discussion; that is until the issue of pay equity was raised.  Whenever I spoke with young persons about the wage inequalities that exist in Canada, they could not believe it, especially since our society has seemingly made a conscious effort to tell women that they are equal, that they are just as capable and worth just as much as men.
Whether it be from their teachers, parents, or other authoritative figures, young women often stated that they had been told extensively that they were equally as valuable as men. However, being told one thing and being paid another seemed to leave many young women angered and confused by the contradiction. In a country that delegates so much time and attention to its economy and dollar worth, how can it promote equality when it has blatantly affixed a lower price tag on its female citizens than its male citizens? 

* Meghan Menzies is a 2nd year student at Robson Hall. She spent her summer working at PILC in Winnipeg. Her dance moves are notoriously awesome.

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