Women and education in Canada
Education is one of the basic needs in the society. The need to study and acquire more skills has been aggravated by the ever-increasing standards of living that have pushed youngest people into innovation. Canada boasts as one of the countries with the highest literacy levels. The education system has been designed to ensure that every child who has attained the age of going to school obtains education. Each year, changes are made to the syllabus to ensure that the children get the education they require in line to the ever-changing needs of the society. One of the areas that Canada can boast of is the improvements it has made in ensuring that the girl child obtains the required education. In a society where a woman is still struggling with identity, the Canadian woman seems to have realized her place by scaling to higher levels of education.
Apart from the compulsory education that is required for all children irrespective of gender at a younger age, most women are self motivated enough to pursue education at tertiary levels. This proves the fact that unlike, in many cultures where the dwindling numbers of girls in educational institutions decrease with every level, most institutions in Canada report an almost similar ratio of males and females in institution (Man, 2004). The myths that have been said against women and especially in pursuing technical subjects and courses has been dismissed even as more women take up such courses. Women are also pursuing education even at advanced ages of over 50 years. This hunger for education and especially among women has positively influenced the economic growth of Canada.
Women have always been faced with various challenges, which hinder them from achieving their educational, as well as career goals. This is because of the high expectations from the society and their feminine roles, which they cannot run away. There have been various movements to support girl child education as well as to encourage women to pursue higher education. Some of the strategies that have been applied include sponsoring girls from poor backgrounds, which have a record of good performance and providing another moral support to them. Introduction of girls’ only institutions has also minimized on the rate of girls dropping out of schools due to early pregnancies and poor performance. It has been easy to give the girls such specialized attention and addressing their needs and hence motivating them to perform better.
Recent statistics has proved that women in Canada have recorded better performance compared to their male counterparts. This has been researched from a younger stage where girls in junior levels of education perform well in almost all subjects. This implies that girls have moved from the stereotypical myths that made boys look more intelligent than them. As they show good performance, they prove to the world that they can perform well as long as they are given the chance and the opportunity. To boost female education in Canada, laws that protect women have been passed in government. There are also various nongovernmental organizations that ensure that the laws are implemented and followed to their latter end (Mendelson, 2006). Discrimination against gender especially in work place and sexual violence are issues that are keenly followed in Canada. This is to ensure that the girl child has an opportunity to excel in life.
Apart from government scholarships that are awarded to girls, there are also various private arrangements to assist girls to pursue quality education. Government scholarships may not necessarily accommodate all girls that desire quality education due to the criteria that are used. For instance, when it comes to awarding scholarships, performance is usually considered key. This hence implies that girls who do not show excellent academic performance are likely to miss such scholarships. This is the reason there are other methods used to identify talent and ensure that such girls are not hindered from achieving their career goals (Connell, 2005). For instance, there are girls who show excellent performance in non-academic fields such as athletics, vocal trainings, debate and the likes. Many a times, such girls require extra education to ensure they are better placed in the society. Once such talent has been identified, specific institutions will take up the role of ensuring that the girls get the necessary skills enable them succeed in life.
The arrangements and strategies to discover talents in girls have made most of them able to counter some of the challenges that come with education. There are also strategies that ensure that girls who are unable to proceed with their education because of various challenges are given the chance to proceed once they overcome them. Girls at a younger age are usually counseled o issues that pertain to their sexuality to ensure they do not ignorantly make mistakes that will jeopardize their education. Communication skills have also been imparted on them to ensure that they are able to speak out, especially on issues that affect them.
Girl child education in Canada has been designed in a way that ensures that they are empowered both mentally and psychologically. This is done by assisting them in making career choices as well as having the ability to overcome challenges that come with their growth. Motivational speakers and more especially from reputable organizations of female gender frequently visit schools just to encourage the girls that they can make it in life. This has been done especially when it comes to overcoming the fear that is in girls that men can only handle some technical subjects. Most girls have shunned taking up courses of their choice simply because they were discouraged claiming them too technical for their gender. There were also fears where such girls feared that they might not get the required employment based on their gender.
The good performance that has been recorded with female employees has even encouraged more companies to recruit females in various positions. This also motivates the girls who are still in school to work hard with the assurance that they will get placement in employment. One of the biggest challenges that has also faced women in pursuing education is their homely responsibilities. Managing such responsibilities and still being able to pursue education and work is a task. There have been seminars organized especially for corporate women who desire to pursue higher education and still have their homely responsibilities. This is done to ensure that the women get a flexible plan that they can work. It has been a desire for women professionals in Canada to earn points, both at their working places, as well as home.
Higher education has been improved through online and virtual classes. This ensures that even the women who are not able to attend regular classes because of their work and home schedules are able to get the much-required education. The classes are designed according to their schedules of the women and ensure that they catch up with the lessons when they are not very busy. This has therefore, ensured that women do not neglect their work and family responsibilities at the expense of their education (Caponi & Plesca, 2009). Through this system, many more women are enrolling for online degree programs and therefore, giving them a competitive advantage with their male counterparts.
The success that has been achieved by women especially in their careers and education has led to complaints especially from the males who feel that they are being discriminated. It has been considered that the education system favors women and having the added advantage when it comes to job placement. It has been suggested that women get placement on merit rather than being treated in a lenient way simply because they are women. Most men also complain of being looked down on women in higher responsibilities simply because they appear to have more academic credentials than them. Apart from a few exceptions, the employment and education system awards both genders based on their performance rather than gender. However, some few organizations are concerned with women empowerment that will award women for their performance compared to men.
Despite the complaints that have come from the males, it should be noted that women have come from far to reach where they are. They also have to deal with many other issues that are likely to hinder them from achieving their goals. It will, therefore, only be fare if such efforts are recognized and rewarded. It is alarming to see women being given more specialized attention in the society compared to the attention men recieve. This is because the society does not want to face a scenario where the women go back to the dark ages where they did not have a voice for themselves (Drolet, 2005). The men only need to adjust to the fact that the women are becoming empowered and hence capable of making independent decisions. Instead of dwelling on how many women are being empowered, it is time for the men to enjoy the developments brought up by women as well as being challenged to perform even better.
Despite the challenges that women still have to face as they try to balance in a male dominated society, there is hope even as educational statistics records an upward trend for the female gender. There is still a lot that needs to be done to ensure that the women still perform in their feminine responsibilities even as they take up prominent positions in the society. With each passing year, the women have yet proved that when given the chance, she can facilitate the most needed change in the society. From the time the woman realized that she could perform better in other places that are not limited to the kitchen, the economy has also experienced an upward growth (Boothby & Drewes, 2006). The main challenge remains to balance between career and her responsibilities. It cannot be denied that there is so much at the hand of a woman that, at times, they neglect their homely responsibilities. However, with technology, everything is proving to be manageable as women can work and even learn at home, as they take care of their families.
Boothby, D., & Drewes, T. (2006). Postsecondary education in Canada: Returns to university, college and trades education. Canadian Public Policy-Analyse de Politiques, 32(1), 1-22.
Caponi, V., & Plesca, M. (2009). Post‐secondary education in Canada: can ability bias explain the earnings gap between college and university graduates?. Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, 42(3), 1100-1131.
Connell, E. (2005). Desire as interruption: Young women and sexuality education in Ontario, Canada. Sex Education, 5(3), 253-268.
Drolet, M. (2005). Participation in Post-secondary Education in Canada: Has the Role Changed over the 1990s?. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
Man, G. (2004, July). Gender, work and migration: Deskilling Chinese immigrant women in Canada. In Women's Studies International Forum (Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 135-148). Pergamon.
Mendelson, M. (2006). Aboriginal peoples and postsecondary education in Canada. Ottawa, Canada: Caledon institute of social policy.