Women Still Face Barriers to University and College

OTTAWA, March 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Women still face greater barriers to post-secondary education, decades after first enrolling in large numbers.

"International Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate women's achievement and reflect on the barriers that women still face today," said Jessica McCormick, National Deputy Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "High tuition fees and record levels of student debt, when coupled with the persisting wage gap, impede many qualified women from attending college or university in Canada."

Despite women's advancement in education, women with a post-secondary education still only earn 68 per cent of the average annual earnings of their male peers. Women are also ten per cent less likely to find a job, ten per cent less likely to work full-time and three times more likely to work part-time. Women who are able to secure full-time employment get an average fifteen per cent fewer hours of work a week.

Outstanding student debt owed to the federal government has almost doubled in the last ten years, from $8 billion in 2001 to $15 billion in 2011. According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 70 per cent of new jobs require some form of post-secondary education.

"Ensuring affordable college and university education is available to women is a key factor for advancing women's equality," said McCormick. "The federal government should be making access to post-secondary education a priority by taking steps to immediately reduce up front financial barriers."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927. 

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Jessica McCormick, National Deputy Chairperson, (613) 232-7394


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