Essay On Women In The Work Place

Essay, Research Paper

Women In The Labour Force

The past decades their has been a dramatic increase of women participating in the labour force from countries all over the

world including Canada. In 1950, one Canadian worker in five was

a woman. By 1980 this percentage had doubled, and women are

expected to make up more than 44 percent of the labour force by

the end of this century.

The increase in female participation started occurring

during the 1970’s. This increase also caused the largest baby

boom that the Canadian female labour force had ever witnessed.

In North America it is common for women to have part-time or

summer jobs, and the participation rate of teenage girls is high.

It is also mostly high throughout the world in places as United

Kingdom because of the fewer women going to school. But in

places like France, Italy, and Japan the female participation

rate is very low. In most of the countries the labour force is

most participated in the age groups between 20 and 24. The

labour force of mature women is very high in Sweden, because of

the encouraged day care facilities which also provides the

females with legislation that provides them with excellent

benefits. In Japan there is a drop in female economic activity,

the reason why is it affects their marriage and the care of their

only child.

An observation of labour force participation rates in Canada

show that female rates rose a lot between 1971 and 1981, while

the male rate rose unnoticeably. The increase in the female

participation rate was found in all age groups except in older

women. For women aged 15 to 19 the rate was as almost as high as

the men. But the largest increase was in the age group of 25-44

years old, where the rate rose almost 50 percent. This meant

that the participation rates of the females had become more alike

with the men.

Family status also influenced the female participation rate

but later on during 1981 it had a more less affect than in 1971.

According to statistics just over one quarter of married women

with young children were working, but this later changed and grew

by 76 percent over the a 10 year period of time. The rate also

showed an increase of 47 percent for widowed, divorced, and

separated women with children. However single women with young

children showed a slight decrease. However the female

participation rate is not so much related to family status as

today as it was many years ago.

During the period of 1971 through 1981 the involvement of

married women went through a major change. Fewer women saw

marriage as a reason to interrupt their participation in the job

force, and couple tended to postpone having children or not

having any at all. While women with young children tended to

participate less in the labour market and quit their jobs more

frequently than men. Females did the exact opposite of what men

did when they had children while working, and in some cases were

actually more stable than men without children. This showed

that the couples attitude towards having children influenced a

decrease in the female labour force participation rate.

In 1981 most women spent an average of 1,247 hours a year

working, compared with 1,431 hours in 1971 which had dropped

about 15 percent. Even men saw their average hours decrease by

13 percent. Not only more women were working, more were working

part-tim for only part of the year which meant more women on the

unemployment rolls. In the 1960’s the unemployment rate for

females was 3 percent and ten years later increased to 7 percent.

Since june 1982 the unemployment rate for men was 11-13 percent

and the women’s just above that rate which could also exceed that

of the men near the end of the century. Only about 11 percent of

women had part-time jobs because they couldn’t find full-time

employment or because they wished to spend more time to their

education or their families, or for other reasons. Although 24

percent of the women working part-time would have preferred a

full-time job if it had been available.

According to the Statistics Canada study, in 1970 women were

extremely poorly paid which showed a big earnings difference than

the men. This started changing in the 1970’s which rose the

females earning to 51.2 percent of that of a man. Ten years

later it had reached 54.4 percent. If it wasn’t for the decrease

in annual hours for the females the earnings difference would

have been reduced even further. By 1980 the females earnings had

risen to 72 percent of that of a man.

The female labour force would be incomplete without equal

pay for equal or equivalent work. This issue was the most

important issue to women in low-paid jobs. If the principal of

equal pay for equal work were fully applied men and women would

both receive the same hourly wage which would raise female

earnings dramatically. The issue of equal pay for equal work

most often comes up in discussion to improve the economic status

of the women at the bottom of the payroll, many of them who are

not in unions.

When women first started entering the labour force they were

hassled by the males because they were supposed to traditional

work in the house and take care of the family. Which was the

reason of their low wages to disapprove of women working. This

traditions reflected their wages and the positions people were

willing to offer to women. Working women experience problems

such as sexual harassment and being fired because of pregnancy.

Most of the people want to correct the unequal treatment of

women in the work force and make it equal for everyone. Some of

the methods which can be used to support equality is to introduce

a federal legislation to guarantee equal pay for equal work. To

also set wages according to the value of the work done by the

employer. Which would be difficult to measure the value of one

person’s work compared to another persons. We could also offer

women better benefits and a better pension when they retire their


Peoples attitudes towards women in the work force are slowly

starting to change and more opportunities for women are being

available for them. The unequal treatment of working women will

take years to change and will always stay an important issue.

Books Author

In Her Own Right Six Point View

To See Ourselves “unknown”

The Law Is Not For Women “unknown”

Equal Status For Women In Canada In th 1990’s “unknown”

Women And The Constitution Micheline Carrier

Women At Home “unknown”

Changing Economic Status Of Women Jac-Andre Boulet



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