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

County approves hobby farm rezoning Aug. 8

Parcel hosts farm animal rescue operation

‘No Stone Left Alone’ returns to Wetaskiwin Nov. 2

Volunteers needed for poignant remembrance event

Wetaskiwin’s Horses of Hope event raised over $50,000

Organizers note 160 people attended charity dinner

Military posers insult real veterans: writer

Fake medals and bogus insignia insulting to service members

Two subdivisions given County of Wetaskiwin extensions

Both applicants given 12 month extensions to developments

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read