Magazine article Herizons

[The Illusion of Inclusion: Women in Postsecondary Education]

Magazine article Herizons

[The Illusion of Inclusion: Women in Postsecondary Education]

Article excerpt

The myth of an inclusive postsecondary education system is exposed!" hails the jacket of this collection of essays. Drawing on the experiences of both students and faculty, The Illusion of Inclusion reveals how women are marginalized from post-secondary institutions in Canada.

I enjoyed reading the historical documentation of gender equity struggles in Canadian universities. The essays consistently demonstrate how the inequitable "climate" in post-secondary universities continues to exist today. Course content and curriculum remain male-centered, and gender-neutral language is lacking. Both faculty and students continue to engage in sexist "jokes" and behaviour. Sexual harassment is widespread, and campuses are ill-equipped to prevent or deal with violence against women. The lack of women's support services such as child care limit female involvement in postsecondary institutions, and the low percentage of female faculty discourages women from continuing their studies. In the end, the book presents many concrete recommendations towards addressing these problems.

Recommendations include employment and pay equity; more flexible child care and leave positions; increased commitment to women's studies; sexual harassment offices; and increased levels of scholarship for non-traditional fields. The book highlights the need for a comprehensive approach, i.e., gender neutral language in all aspects of campus life; understanding that campus safety is a collective responsibility; and reviewing curriculum on a university-wide basis. It also suggests a degree requirement that all students take at least one course on women's perspectives. …

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