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Gender Wage Gap

            In 1967 the female-male wage ratio for full time, full year workers in Canada was 58. In spite of three decades of struggling for equality, this ratio has been increase by only 72.5 per cent, which indicates a 0.67 per cent increase in each year (Shannon and Kidd 2001). Although the government has implemented several public policies, such as the Ontario Mothers Allowance programme and mandatory employment requirements for single parents, to reduce the gender wage gap, this gap still persistently exists in almost all Canadian industrial sectors. Two fundamental questions arise concerning this phenomenon: why does the gender wage gap exist and how can we diminish it more effectively? The goal of this paper is twofold. Firstly, this paper will analyze motherhood as a fundamental source of the gender wage gap. Secondly, this paper will explore how this gender wage gap can be diminished more effectively by sharing housework by both genders and providing universal daycare. I will start with explaining why being a mother is the stronger source of the gender wage gap than any other sources. .
             Other than having children, women's education level and their physical inferiority could be the most probable sources of the gender wage gap. Traditionally, women's average education had been lower than men's. However, in 1997, women's average years of schooling was slightly higher than men's by 13.8 years to 13.6 years (Survey of Labour and Income Dynamic in Canada 1997), and this trend still continues to this day. In addition, women's university undergraduate enrolment rate has been higher than men's since 1985 and was 7.0 per cent higher than men's in 1998. Thus, the tradition of women's lower education level has been diminished in our society, and cannot be counted as a strong source of gender wage gap happening in the modern Canadian society. On the other hand, due to the fact that natural physical attributes cannot be significantly changed in a few decades, women's physical inferiority is more fundamental factor that can affect women's wages in industrial sectors that requires great physical capacity.

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