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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Two rescued from tipped sailboat near Casa Loma

The two men were quickly brought to shore by a marine rescue crew

New cherry packing facility to open near Ellison Lake this weekend

Despite a lacklustre cherry crop this year, Jealous Fruits is opening its new state-of-the-art packing facility

Petition calling for Kelowna Mountie to be fired, charged nears 350K signatures

Const. Lacey Browning was caught on camera dragging a UBCO student down a hall during a wellness check

PHOTOS: Looking back at Central Okanagan Canada Day celebrations of years past

While there may not be many festivities to look forward to for Canada Day 2020, previous celebrations have been a real treat

Long-range transportation planning around Central Okanagan offers challenges

Work from home has upended traditional traffic patterns

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Okanagan arsonist sentenced to 3 years probation

Arsonist must pay $500 to each party affected, no access to drugs, alcohol or fire starters

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Most Read