LETTER – The fight for gender equality far from over

Dear editor,

In a recent letter in the Record (The Valley’s hospital doesn’t need a feminist PM), Julian White wrote that because his wife was attended by a female doctor and a female anesthesiologist when she gave birth, there is no longer any need for our prime minister to focus on feminism.

He said “it is individual women who are carving the way for equality and fairness.” I’d say that’s not entirely true.

If it weren’t for the tireless work of feminists over the last 100 years, those women would probably not be in those positions. When Emily Stowe, one of Canada’s first female doctors, tried to study medicine at the University of Toronto in 1865, its vice-president told her, ‘The doors of the University are not open to women and I trust they never will be.’

In 1924, the Federation of Medical Women in Canada was founded to encourage women to study medicine and to pressure medical schools to accept more women. But by 1970, only seven per cent of physicians in Canada were women, and it took until 1995 before the numbers of women and men in Canadian medical schools became roughly equal. There is still no Canadian province that has as many female doctors as male doctors, and there is still a pay gap between women and men practising medicine.

Canadian women are under-represented in many professions. Only seven of the 249 companies listed on the main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange are run by women, and Canada has the ninth highest gender pay gap out of a list of 43 OECE countries.

So I’d say that there is still a lot to be accomplished, and we need a prime minister who is a strong advocate for women’s equality, because it’s not something that individual women are necessarily going to be able to accomplish on their own.

Ellen Rainwalker,


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

Just Posted

Cumberland council shows support for decriminalization of drugs

Council responded to a recent request from Comox Valley couple who lost son

Comox Valley wheelchair sports all about inclusion

By Jamie Bowman Special to The Record When occupational therapist Carolyn Harmatiuk… Continue reading

All Carlton Cards stores closing in the coming weeks

Schurman Retail Group stores across North America will close, including 79 in Canada

Comox Valley Community Foundation hands out record amount of grant money

The Comox Community Centre the foundation handed out $330,000 to local organizations Tuesday.

Comox Valley school district planning Climate Action Conference for students

The voices of Comox Valley youth on the topic of climate change… Continue reading

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Rainfall warning issued for east Vancouver Island

Warning issued for area from Nanoose Bay to Campbell River

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Most Read