The Williams Lake Girl Guides sitting around a campfire at Tyee Lake Camp. (Phot by patrick Davies)

Girls face sexism as early as 10 years old: Girl Guides poll

Canadian girls reported being twice as likely than boys to see the brunt of gender inequality

Sobering but not surprising – that’s how the head of Girl Guides Canada described results from a recent poll that suggests girls across the country are twice as likely as boys to experience sexism as early as 10 years old.

The Ipsos poll, conducted in September and released this week, surveyed about 1,200 girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 17. It focused on attitudes and behaviours related to gender inequality, sexism and feminism.

“The impact of gender inequality on girls and women is real and it’s significant,” Girl Guides of Canada CEO Jill Zelmanovits said. “We know from previous studies that girls who expect to be treated unequally can be dissuaded from pursuing their passions.”

Forty-three per cent of the girls said they’ve experiences sexism at least once in their lives, compared to 21 per cent of boys. Thirty-five per cent of the girls said gender inequality has “impacted their lives.”

Respondents said inequality is most pronounced in two key areas: on the sports field and online.

About 27 per cent of girls said they’re treated worse than boys in gym class, while 15 per cent of boys said they’re treated better. The survey heard the same response for treatment on social media.

The study also suggests stereotypes about gender persist in organized activities and school. Thirty-one per cent of boys and 18 per cent of girls said they believeboys are more capable than girls in activities such as math and science, sports and leadership roles.

READ MORE: Celebrating the strides towards gender equality on International Women’s Day

READ MORE: Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

While the survey showed work must be done to fully realize gender equality in Canada, most respondents said they support gender equality in principle and recognize inequality currently exists between girls and boys.

A majority of both girls and boys – 81 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively – said they recognize the importance of providing girls with dedicated spaces.

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

When it comes to sexual harassment and violence, 80 per cent of girls and 71 per cent of boys believe the #MeToo movement is a positive development. There was nearly unanimous approval for teaching consent in the classroom, of roughly 90 per cent.

Zelmanovits said the survey shows just how early gender inequality affects girls, and called on adults to speak with young people about what they might be feeling.

“If you are a parent or teacher or coach, or if you have a young person in your life, you need to listen to their experiences,” she said.

“You need to be aware of how you speak and realize that what you say and do matters to young people. Consider if you are part of the reason that one in three boys, and two in ten girls, think that boys are more capable than girls in a variety of activities.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

From the Hill: The successes and failures of the Elections Modernization Act

Richard Cannings writes about Bill C-76 in From the Hill.

Public invited to annual watershed meeting at Christina Lake

Learn more about invasive species and management planning at Christina Lake.

Boundary Peace Initiative hosts conference in Grand Forks

The conference featured Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

Christina Lake teacher recognized for excellence in education

The provincial music teachers’ award is “a huge honour.”

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Most Read