If you believe Canada is free from sexism and misogyny, you may be surprised to learn you’d be mistaken.
According to recent research from Plan International Canada, 70 per cent of women have experienced some form of inequality in their lifetime, either due to discrimination or gender stereotypes.
Despite the fact many people acknowledge women have a place in the workforce, 81 per cent of respondents said they believe there is an expectation women should bear the responsibility of cooking, cleaning and caring for children.
Additionally, 73 per cent of the women surveyed said they believe society expects women to be wives and/or mothers.
“These Canadian results amplify the fact that gender-related norms, values and stereotypes still pose potent barriers to women achieving equal power. Globally, women spend significantly more time than men – often up to ten times as much—on unpaid care, volunteer, and domestic work,” Saadya Hamdani, Director of Gender Equality for Plan International Canada, said in a news release.
“This uneven distribution of work has implications for job segregation and pay equity and it socializes the younger generation to believe gender roles are “normal. This is at the heart of gender inequality; holding back women, families, communities, countries, and the world,” she continued.
The survey also found people have vastly different views on men’s and women’s behaviour in the workplace.
For example, 87 per cent of respondents said when a man has strong opinions at work he’s viewed as a confident leader while 82 per cent said women with strong opinions are viewed as aggressive or overbearing.
Further, 83 per cent of respondents said men are expected to be confident and tough while 81 per cent said women are expected to be accommodating and emotional.
As well, 63 per cent said men are expected to be the breadwinner who provides for the family, while 73 per cent said women are expected to become a wife and/or mother.
Despite the notion women have been afforded more opportunities over recent years, according to respondents, the opposite is true; 77 per cent of women ages 18 to 34 said they have personally faced gender-based inequality compared to 67 per cent of women ages 35 to 65.
Moreover, 71 per cent of women ages 18 to 34 feel they’ve been held back due to their physical appearance; in contrast, only 53 per cent of women aged 35 to 65 feel the same way.
“It’s time to use these statistics to focus on actions and accountability,” Rima Thaker, Youth Ambassador for Plan International Canada, said in the same release.
“We share vulnerabilities, which means we can share solutions together as well. Unlike previous generations, my generation has seen progress towards a more inclusive world. This progress gives me that spark of hope and optimistic energy that we really do have the capability to achieve gender equality,” she continued.