Three-fourths of the difference between the two countries can be explained by the growing gap in labor force attachment of women. A key factor is the extensive parental leave policies in Canada.
In the past women have been expected to be in the labour force only until they marry; this reflects the historical, idealized notion of a society in which the man is the breadwinner and the woman the homemaker.
Women packing olives for McLarens, Hamilton, Ont, c. That participation is characterized by segregation and low pay. Today women have one unpaid job in the home and one low-paid job in the labour force.
Women have always been responsible for work in the home and in the labour force and they have always been paid lower wages than men; they have been paid less both when their jobs are not the same as those of men but could be seen as equally valuable and when the work is exactly the same see WORK.
History of Female Labour At the end of the 19th century, the factories replaced families as the main productive unit. Factory work involved long hours, low wages and often brutal working conditions.
For example, young girls worked for 60 hours a week for 80 cents, or less than 2 cents per hour. The majority of women were employed as servants, dressmakers, teachers, seamstresses, tailors, housekeepers, launderers, milliners and saleswomen. During the first half of the 20th century, the number of jobs available to women was limited and strong sentiment existed against married women working outside the home.
Men feared that the cheap labour of large numbers of women would undercut their wages; employers and moral reformers were concerned that work would impair the femininity and high moral standards of women and distract them from their true calling as wives and mothers.
During WWI, women replaced men who had joined the armed services, but the labour shortage was not severe enough to warrant their large-scale employment. At the end of the war, women were strongly encouraged to leave the work force and married women employed by government were legislated out of it.
Incentives, eg, free government nurseries and income-tax concessions, were provided to attract married women into the labour force. At the end of the war the incentives were withdrawn and married women were again encouraged and in some cases regulated out of the labour force.
This time, however, many stayed and found employment in the expanding number of "female" jobs in the service industries. The greater numbers of women entering the labour force presented male-dominated trade unions with a dilemma. Trade unionists feared the competition from "unskilled" female labour and were concerned as well with maintaining the traditional role of women.
Simultaneously, they were interested in protecting all workers, including women. The s were a time of rapid economic expansion. Changes in the productive process, emphasis by government and private industry on construction and on research and development, expansion in health, welfare and educational services, and the need to advertise, sell and finance new products all created new jobs for women.
Mass consumption of these goods was imperative to the economic system. By midth century many families, to be able to afford more goods and to educate their children, needed 2 income earners. Since the s there has been a steady increase in part-time work and by the number of part-time jobs, which have few benefits and little security, had expanded enormously; Women joined unions and other organizations in greater numbers.
Considerable agreement existed in a wide range of areas: Low Wages The notion, which has not changed, that there is a male breadwinner to support every household reinforces the occupational segregation and low wages of women in the labour force. Many female single parents do not earn enough to live on after child care and other costs of working outside the home are deducted.
Fifty-six percent of elderly women also live with low incomes; because most of these women worked all their lives in the home they have no work-related pension of their own. Government restraint has increased unemployment and decreased necessary services in health, welfare and education making it increasingly difficult for these groups see POVERTY.
Labour Force Changes Since the deep recession of the s, real wages and consequently the standard of living have been declining. Economic setbacks and restructuring by government and the private sector has resulted in a decline in the number of full-time jobs and an increase in part-time work.
This also meant that many people were forced to hold more than one job to earn a living. Inwomen, especially young women, had higher rates of multiple job holding than men see WORK. Achieving Equality Achieving this goal would require major social, political and economic changes in order to create structures such as parental leave and child-care programs that support women and overturn existing structures such as labour-force segregation and low wages that are disadvantageous to women.
Double Burden As government services are cut back many of the higher-paying jobs for women disappear. New jobs based on new technologies will strand many women at home in "high-tech" sweatshops - a modern incarnation of the traditional piece-rate work for which little legislation exists.
Without adequate government services, the care of children, the elderly, the disabled and the unemployed will once again fall on the shoulders of women, who are still generally considered responsible for this work. Yet the struggle continues, as many women try to reach the goal of a society where women and men equally combine and share work and family responsibilities.Census Bureau for the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unless otherwise noted, data are annual averages from the CPS. (For a detailed description of the source of the data and an explanation of concepts and definitions used, see the Technical Notes at the end of this report.) WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE: A DATABOOK.
Labor force participation rate, female (% of female population ages ) (modeled ILO estimate) Labor force with advanced education, male (% of male working-age population with advanced education) Labor force with advanced education (% of total . Women comprise 48% of the employed labour force in Canada ().
2 55% of all Canadian doctors and dentists are female (), up from 43% in 3 Yet women in Ontario are still less likely than men to be employed. Why are so many more women working in Canada than the US? Countries that have higher labor force participation for women tend to have a more robust employment market for men as well.
From to , the labour force participation rate for women grew steadily, rising from about 24% in to 76% in Meanwhile, the participation rate for .
2. BLS Reports │ December • urbanagricultureinitiative.com WOMEN IN THE LABOR FORCE: A DATABOOK The overall unemployment rate for women in was