Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Gender, Segmentation and the Standard Employment Relationship in Canadian Labour Law, Legislation and Policy

Document type Article
Author Vosko, Leah F.
Author Fudge, Judy
Journal Economic and Industrial Democracy
Volume 22
Date 2001 05
ISSN 0143-831X, 1461-7099
Pages 271-310


Using gender as its analytic lens, this article examines segmentation in the Canadian labour market by focusing on the standard employment relationship. It illustrates how standard employment was crafted upon a speii gender division of paid and unpaid labour, the male breadwinner norm, and was only available to a narrow segment of workers. To this end, it traces how from the lOSOs the standard employment relationship ws supelemanted by a growth in jobs associated with, and filed pnrimaly by, women workers and it shows how women's increasing labour market participation in the late 196Os and early 1970s shaped demands for equality in employment policies. Since the 1 9SOs, a deterioration in the standard employment relationship has undermined both demands for and the basis of gender equality strategies and the article concludes by raising the question of the normative basis for regulating employment in order to Move towards strategies for reregulation.