Canadian News

Researchers say Canadians need a 'culture shift' for those who 'hold traditional gender biases'

A new study says Canadians need to have a "culture shift" to change the views of Canadians who "hold traditional gender biases."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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A new study says Canadians need to have a "culture shift" to change the views of Canadians who "hold traditional gender biases."

The "Attitudes Regarding Gender Equality and Gender-Based Violence In Canada" study found results 57 percent of those in Atlantic Canada believe women are not as interested as men in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, the study found, according to Blacklock's Reporter.

Other findings included:

• 20 percent in Québec agreed, "Investing in programs that help women and girls means men and boys lose out"
• 22 percent in Ontario agreed, "It is a woman’s job to be responsible for birth control since they are the ones who get pregnant"
• 23 percent in Manitoba agreed, "Women earn less money on average because the jobs men do tend to be more risky"
• 29 percent in Saskatchewan agreed, "Men are more effective than women in positions of power because they are less emotional"
• 34 percent in Alberta agreed, "Men should not have to pay child support if they don’t get to see their children enough"
• 37 percent in British Columbia agreed, "Family life suffers when the woman has a full-time job"
• 57 percent in Atlantic Canada agreed, "Women are not as interested as men in science, technology, engineering and math"

"To support an evidence-based approach to addressing persistent gender inequality and gender-based violence, a snapshot is required of attitudes towards gender norms and roles, sexual diversity and gender identity and expression," said Attitudes.

"Since achieving gender equality as well as preventing and addressing gender-based violence requires a culture shift and the participation of all members of society, understanding our baseline attitudes with regards to gender will help develop an important frame of reference for future work," wrote researchers.

"Some interesting perceptions are expressed when it comes to issues of gender and leadership," said the study. "Eight in ten people in Canada, 79 percent, agree that women have to do more than men to prove themselves as capable leaders."

"When it comes to the reasons women earn less money than men, people in Canada tend to agree with the statement that it is because society undervalues women’s work (69 percent) and to disagree with the idea that it is because women’s jobs tend to be less skilled (60 percent)," said the report.

"However, opinion is more evenly divided about whether the gender wage gap is related to the perception that men tend to have riskier jobs."

Regarding the matter of gender equality, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that gender equality was crucial in "creating lasting solutions to the challenges [people] face in the world."

"Women’s empowerment is a key driver of economic growth that works for everyone. All of us benefit when women can participate freely, fully, and equally in our economies and society, and supporting and empowering women and girls must be at the heart of the decisions we make," wrote Trudeau during Canada's G7 Presidency bid.

"Gender equality must play a key role in creating lasting solutions to the challenges we face as a world – whether building economies that work for everyone, preparing for jobs of the future, fighting climate change, or advancing peace and security. Investing in girls’ education, especially in crisis situations, is a vital part of making that a reality."

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