• Ensuring Women’s Access to Higher Education and Employment in Iran and Canada: A Comparative Study

      Habibnejad, Mina
      In this systematic literature review, I explored how Canadian and Iranian governments have facilitated women’s access to higher education and employment opportunities, as well as the purpose of higher education for Canadian and Iranian women, over the past four decades. I examined peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as OECD, UN, UNESCO, and UNICEF online documents and reports, to understand the dynamics of women’s educational and employment experiences. The review of the literature revealed similarities and differences between Iranian and Canadian women’s experiences in higher education and employment. In both countries, women’s access to higher education has increased over the past four decades; however, a gender gap between men’s and women’s employment opportunities persists in favour of men, particularly in policymaking and leadership positions in academia and other sectors. The intersection of gender and religion impacts Iranian women’s access to higher education positively and employment opportunities negatively while the intersection of gender, racial identity, and/or immigrant status hinders Canadian women’s educational and employment opportunities. Building on Shields (2010) transformative leadership framework and Collins’ (2015) matrix of domination, I argue that merging these two frameworks can help higher education researchers, educators, and administrators understand the experiences of individuals simultaneously belonging to multiple oppressed groups. Increasing women’s access to higher education and financially rewarding employment opportunities remains imperative across the globe. This increased access can be accomplished through building international collaborations; educating educational and employment policymakers about matrix of domination, intersectionality, and transformative leadership; and developing gender-inclusive and family-friendly policies that meet the needs of diverse women groups.
    • A Narrative Inquiry of Women in Administration: Their Voices Heard

      Stewart, Jennifer (2014-04-29)
      This narrative study examined women’s experiences in leadership positions in an educational setting in Southern Ontario. Semi-structured interviews with 4 women (2 principals and 2 vice principals) revealed 4 key themes: (a) considerations prior to entering into leadership and confidence instilled by others to continue on that path; (b) ongoing challenge of maintaining work−life balance; (c) others’ perceptions of women in leadership positions; and (d) increasing number of women in leadership positions. The researcher used feminist standpoint theory to analyze data collected during interviews, which gave voice to the study’s participants and shed some light on women’s gendered experiences in leadership positions. Findings suggest that historical roots significantly influence society to continue with stereotypical gender roles, though some participants have overcome certain stereotypes. The literature review and participants’ experiences suggest that women have made some progress throughout history yet society needs to remain vigilant while striving for gender equality.
    • Negotiating Education 'Inside and Out': A Feminist Analysis of Educational Programming for Previously Incarcerated Women in Canada

      Sitnik, Valentina
      In this Major Research Paper (MRP), I report on findings from a literature review I conducted on educational programs available to women who have been incarcerated in Ontario, Canada. I use a feminist lens to analyze literature and program documents to understand the educational opportunities available to women who are facing the challenge of reintegration into communities, after incarceration. Specifically, I examine transitional programs offered by Correctional Services Canada, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Ontario), and other key prison programs. I also review various programs offered to women upon release, through the John Howard Society (Ontario), The Elizabeth Fry Society (Ontario), the Walls to Bridges Program (Ontario), the Canadian Family Correctional Network, and the Ontario Halfway Housing Association. In this review, I explore the processes of stigmatization and criminalization that inform women’s educational programming opportunities. I also highlight various gendered challenges and barriers that influence women’s access to, and experience of, educational programming post-release. My goal is to identify the state of existing educational programs for women who have been previously incarcerated and to generate discussion for future program development.