Women’s Lack of Mobility in the City of Toronto

Women’s Lack of Mobility in the City of Toronto

Division of labor, in the past, was absolute, such that men ruled the labor market with women ruling the house. However, significant changes are taking place as far as the division of labor and gender inequality is concerned. In the 1960, the conventional male “breadwinner” model changed to a dual earner following the entry of women in the labor market. Currently, labor market is characterized by high gender segregation, which is fueled by discriminatory and gendered assumptions and practice (Scott, 1994). Women are unable to join the men in the public sector because most cannot move freely from home to work. Their immobility makes it impossible to look for jobs in the city. Use of public transport is not ideal considering the economic situation of the families.

This paper explores the resultant effect on the overall segregation of work following the movement of women to the paid market and the trend of gender inequality. The central feature of gender inequality is the gender division of labor, both in its social construction and the economic aspects of gender identities. However, empirical studies regarding division of labor is extremely divided between those who examine gender segregation in the paid, in the market and those who study division of household labor. In addition, gender balance will not be achieved in the public domain because women are still stuck in their households. The morbidity of women is a great concern because it limits the working potential of women in Toronto. Furthermore, the overall gender division of labor has not been considered in experimental studies. The problem with the independent studies of occupational versus homework segregation is that they do not show the dynamic connection between the two. This paper brings together public and private domains in an attempt to develop a universal measure of the division of labor and how lack of morbidity affects the women in Toronto.

Literature Review

According to Lerner (1975), it possible that women and men have a variety of preferences as far as work is concerned. Men may prefer to act as providers while women may simply prefer to have a caring role. In such a case, gender inequality could result from individual preferences in relation to their choices. However, another scenario is that such preferences are an outcome of the surrounding expectations and challenges.  Gender stereotypes still marks the society with their effects on the labor market impacting more on women. They are forced to work in areas that are commonly characterized by part time work and housework. Lerner argues that, this strengthens gender variations within the public sector with stereotypes being transferred to the actor in the industry. Subconsciously, employers and colleagues’ demands from a woman with children may not be the same, for instance, as from a man with children, which influences the choices for men and women.

According to Mutari (2000), concerns over gender inequality have moved many researchers to focus principally on occupational inequality with most feminist stressing the continuity in the division of labor between public and private sectors, also referred to as the labor market. The public domain mainly represents the urban working markets that present better opportunities compared to the private market that constitutes house cores and part time jobs. However, it is difficult for women to remain in the public domain because they lack transportation means.

Over the years, women have struggled to achieve a better position in the public sector. The change to paid labor from unpaid labor in the market is itself a cause of transition in the gender division of labor. It difficult to locate direct comparison, but example d cleaning and cooking can be considered. For instance, 1995, seventy four percent of all unpaid cooking at home were done by women, while, in the market, only forty five percent of all cooking were done by women (England, 1991). Similarly, women did eighty percent of all unpaid household cleaning, but only thirty five percent of cleaners and janitors were women. Mutari observes that gender inequality may be reduced following movements of women from household work to paid work.

In addition, the leading factor in the partial re-division of homework in the past years is the ability of the market to attract women from the household. This is evidenced in the Mutari’s work, which argues that there is less gender inequality in couples’ home work following employment of women. Extant researches of trend in the occupational segregation absolutely treat women, entering the labor market in search of paid work, as beginners in terms of experience to work. Their paid work capacity is the only level of gender segregation that is assessed. The treatment that women receive can be possibly associated to the Current Population Survey, which identified respondents as housekeepers rather than considering them as being in gainful occupations (Morris et al., 1996). Although the approach raises definite issues, it offers an opportunity for view the role women in the labor market and their increased participation in the overall gender division of labor (Mutari, 2000).

Women’s Lack of Mobility

According to Chafetz (1991), work of women is devalued following the failure of the mainstream economy, both in the Toronto and internationally, to account for unpaid work. In the 19th Century, the definition of work was institutionalized by the census as market work, which literary devalued the unpaid work of women. Participation of women in the paid labor force did reach fifty percent until the late 1970s. This was also evidenced among Black women, who historically their participation in the paid labor force has been higher than white women. Hence, neither labor force statistics nor national economics take into account the work that for much of the history of Toronto was the focus for most women. Chafetz observes that contemporary analyses occupational segregation, similarly, did not take into account the disproportionate share of unpaid labor performed by women. This is appreciated in the study of sex segregation, which argues that the most segregated occupation is the occupation of most women, not in the labor market, the homemaker (Gibson-Graham, 1996). Selectivity is necessary for studying of dynamics in the labor market, although it precludes evaluation of the overall division of labor.

Movement of women from the private sector to the public domain faces a lot of challenges. The census statistics indicate that, in Toronto, most of the people live in the suburbs. The city is about 630 km2, compared to the vast 7,125 km2 metropolitan. Moreover, in suburb areas such as Harbourfront and Riverdale, the economic situation is relative (Deike Peters, 2013). Families cannot afford more than one vehicles. In addition, use of public transport is costly and can ruin the family’s budget. Because of this, women have to sacrifice themselves while men work in the cities and travel to other regions without any restriction.

Women are forced to walk from home to their place of work every day. In addition, this makes it very difficult for women to work at distant places near the city. Because of their geographical location, women are not able to access the public sector. Their immobility makes it impossible to look for jobs in the city. Use of public transport is not ideal considering the economic situation of the families.

The women’s incapability to access the public domain makes them socially inferior to the men who dominate the public sector. With time, the burden of their households increases as well making it more difficult to exit the private domain. Finally, although gender equality has been well marketed, most families face economic challenges to afford transportation to and from work every day. The families owning cars give priority to the men hence leaving the women without a means of transportation (Chafetz, 1991). Because of this, women become isolated from the public sector again and are bound to their domestic chores.

Study Design

The research to be undertaken to answer the research question will be phenomenological and will be conducted as field research (Grbich 1999, p.167). The research is looking to evaluate the public and private domains in an attempt to develop a universal measure of the division of labor, and how lack of morbidity affects the women in Toronto.

In order to able to do this, a small number of the public were asked to participate voluntarily through of a convenience sampling. Phenomenological research will enable the research to describe how lack of morbidity affects the women in Toronto

Participants and Sampling

The participants will be in a group of 4, which will be known as (n=4). They will be referred to as participants A, B, C D and so on. (Please refer to details explained for participant profiles in appendix). The sample involved purposefully selecting women aged between 20-40 years.


The participants will be carefully selected, and they will consist of women above 18 years of age. It will consist of women of all races and their education standard shall be immaterial. In this study, one hundred and ten women will take part in it. One hundred women will respond via questionnaires while the remaining ten will take part in an interview. The recruitment process of these participants will be rather strenuous since it will entail visiting malls and market places, stopping women by the roadside and even conducting a door to door walk. The participants will later be put into groups after recruitment so as to facilitate the collection of data from them. 100 will be put in a group that will be given questionnaires to fill while 10 will be put in a group where they will participate in a face to face interview.


This study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards. Participants were informed about the aims of this study, and the confidentiality and anonymity of their response. Furthermore, permission was offered to all interviewees to access to all their information after data is transcript in order to ensure about provided information and to get their satisfaction and agreement about the transcript conversation. In addition, interviewees were permitted to skip any question that is leading to interfere with their personal information.


The empirical assessment of the overall gender segregation of labor in the Toronto and other industrial societies is lacking, despite the numerous studies of trends in the division of labor and gender segregation of occupations. Women’s immobility makes it impossible to look for jobs in the city. Use of public transport is not ideal considering the economic situation of the families. This is discouraging considering the relevance of labor to the premise of gender inequality. Not only do existing studies on occupational segregation of paid work fails to capture how a shifts in the location of women place of work contributes to the transitions in the division of labor, but also understates the overall division of labor.



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Sample Participant’s profile

Qualitative Data

Age Gender Occupation Means of transport to and from work
Interviewee A
Interviewee B
Interviewee C
Interviewee D



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