News release

Statistics on Women and Education

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women has just released Learners and Teachers: Women's Education and Training. This publication brings together statistics on the educational situation of women in the province as well as statistics on how women are faring as educators.

"Women's progress in education is something to celebrate," said Rita Warner, council chair.

Women's educational attainment has increased substantially overall. Women are more than twice as likely to have a university degree and less than half as likely to have very low levels of education as they were 20 years ago.

Women now make up the majority of full-time university undergraduates in the province and half of full-time graduate students. In several undergraduate fields of study that have traditionally been male-dominated, such as medicine, law and commerce/business administration, women now outnumber or equal the number of men. In 1999, women received 60 per cent of bachelor's degrees, 55 per cent of master's degrees and 38 per cent of PhDs granted in Nova Scotia.

"But women are still not adequately represented in certain programs of study such as engineering and applied sciences and trades and technology," said Ms. Warner. "And certain groups of women, such as Aboriginal women, African Nova Scotian women, women with disabilities and lone parents remain educationally disadvantaged."

In 1999, women comprised only 23 per cent of undergraduates and 20 per cent of graduate-level students in engineering and applied science. Women make up only 10 per cent of trades and technology students in community college programs and are extremely under- represented in apprenticeship training.

Though women have also made some advancement as educators, the change is not nearly as dramatic as their advancement as learners. Women remain the majority of teachers in the public education system and are still very much under-represented in higher-level administrative positions. Female university faculty are still much less likely to be full professors than their male counterparts.

"Given that women must achieve higher educational attainment than men in order to earn a living wage, it is important that we remain vigilant about women's participation in and access to post-secondary education," said Ms. Warner. "We must continue our efforts to attract women into nontraditional fields of study such as trades and technology."

Learners and Teachers: Women's Education and Training is available on the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/staw/pubs2002-03/learners2002.pdf , with a backgrounder, at www.gov.ns.ca/staw/pubs2002-03/learners2002backg.htm , providing a summary of key results.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women has just released new statistics on the educational situation of women in the province.

Women have made great gains in educational attainment overall. They are more than twice as likely to have a university degree as they were 20 years ago. They are also less than half as likely to have very low levels of education.

Council chair Rita Warner says that given that women must achieve higher levels of education than men in order to earn a living wage, their participation in post-secondary education is important.

-30-

Contact:

Brigitte Neumann
Advisory Council on the Status of Women 902-424-8662
kjd            September 18, 2002       1:54 P.M.