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Reading: Canadian Women

Read the passage and do the task that follows

A. In 2000, 60% of Canadian women aged 15 and over were in the Canadian labour force, up to 42% in 1976. Between 1976 and 2000, the number of women in labour force grew from 3.6 million to 7.4 million, an increase of 106%. Over the same period the number of women in labour force grew by only 40%, from 6.2 million to 8.7 million.

B. The largest participation rate increase has been among women with pre-school children. Between 1976 and 1999, the participation rate of women with a youngest child aged 3 to 5 grew from 37% to 66%. The increase was even more dramatic among women with a toddler or infant: the rate for women with a youngest child under 3 more than doubled, from 28% in 1976 to 61% in 1999.

C. Work continuity is important to career development, future employability and current and future earnings, but the majority of women experience significant breaks in employment. Nearly two-thirds of women (62%) who have ever held paid jobs have experienced a work interruption of six months or more. In contrast, only one quarter of their male counterparts (27%) have had a work interruption lasting six months or more. Marriage, maternity leave and care of children account for 62% of women's work interruption.

D. In spite of remarkable growth in their participation rate, women with children are still less likely to be in the labour force than those without. In 1999, 76% of women under age 55 without children under 16 at home were in the labour force. This compares to a participation rate of 69% among women with children under 16.

E. The vast majority of employed women with children work full-time (30 hours or more per week). In 1999, 71% of employed women with at least one child under age 16 at home worked full-time, as did 68% of employed women with one or more children under 3 years of age.

F. A nationally representative employees survey conducted by the Conference Board of Canada in 1999 indicated that the proportion of employees who both care for elderly family members and have children at home is now 15%, as compared to 9.5% a decade ago.



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