GENDER EQUITY
and
Middle Years Social Studies
GENDER EQUITY
What is gender equity?
“[it is]… equality between women and men… promoting the equal
participation of women and men in making decisions; supporting women and
girls so that they can fully exercise their rights; and reducing the gap between
women's and men's access to and control of resources and the benefits of
development.” -- Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
And…
“Canada is a world leader in the promotion and protection of women's
rights and gender equality. These issues are central to Canada's foreign
and domestic policies. Canada is committed to the view that gender
equality is not only a human rights issue, but is also an essential
component of sustainable development, social justice, peace, and
security.” -- Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Government of
Canada.
GENDER EQUITY
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Gender equity is also explicitly or implicitly mentioned as part of the
UDHR in many places, but especially articles 1 and 2.
GENDER EQUITY
Does gender equity exist in Canada?
Women make up over half of the Canadian population (50.4% Statistics Canada).
Yet, women generally experience disproportionately lower income
than men ($24,400 to $39,300 – Ibid).
Women are the victims of more than half of all violent crimes
committed, and are particularly at risk of sexual offenses and
criminal harassment.
Women are less likely to hold advanced degrees, to enroll in
mathematical/science-related post-secondary programs, and the
trades.
Finally, women are more likely to experience chronic health
problems than men, and this is exacerbated by typically longer life
expectancies.
GENDER EQUITY
But…
Most of these statistics, and many others, have shown a long-term
trend towards equalization. Consider that it was less than 100
years ago that women were first allowed to vote provincially
(1918).
…to be considered “persons” (1929).
…granted full suffrage (1950).
NB: While women enjoy comparatively equal rights
in Canada, the situation is much worse in several
countries. There is limited or no suffrage in Brunei,
Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab
Emirates.
GENDER EQUITY
What are (some) of the causes of gender inequality?
Media stereotypes regarding gender roles.
Patriarchal political and cultural systems.
Family socialization. Girls are statistically likely to experience
more physical contact, more talking, and less independence.
Education systems which encourage gender stereotypes.
GENDER EQUITY
Curricular supports for teaching gender equity
Included as part of the concerns for Active
Democratic Citizenship in Canada, in the Social
Studies curriculum.
4-KC-002: Identify democratic ideals in Canadian
society. (Examples: equality, freedom…)
6-KP-054: Identify factors that contribute to
inequalities in Canada and propose solutions.
(Examples: poverty, racism, sexism…)
7-KI-008: Describe the influence of various factors
on personal identity. (Examples: gender and
gender images…)
7/8-S-105: Recognize bias and discrimination and
propose solutions.
GENDER EQUITY
Ideas for the classroom
Historical study on significant events in the
equalization of gender rights.
Discussion of continuing inequalities.
Collaborate on classroom rules to ensure equality.
Mixed-gender table groups to help all voices be
heard.
Design/decorate classroom to reflect interests of all
students.
Encourage gender-neutral language, discourage
assumptions about gender and academic abilities.
Consider rights (ideals/actualized) from John
Rawls’ perspective. (Activity)
Dramatize how life would be different if certain
rights were unequally held. (Activity)
GENDER EQUITY
Activity!
GENDER EQUITY
•Break into groups of four
•A member of our group will go around and pass out a
post-it note to each student
GENDER EQUITY
First Round:
•Each group is assigned 12 jumping jacks
•Talk amongst yourselves and decide how many
jumping jacks each member of your group will perform
GENDER EQUITY
2nd Round
•Only those members with a blue post-it note will be
allowed to decide who in the group does jumping jacks
and how many
GENDER EQUITY
3rd Round
•Only the guys get to pick who does the jumping jacks
and how many
GENDER EQUITY
Possible Variations
•Using forms of reinforcement for the students
•Using different criteria to decide who chooses the
reinforcement
•What are some other ways to modify this activity?
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What is gender equity?