Women's and Gender Studies (WGST) 345

Women, Gender and Work in Canada (Revision 4)

WGST 345 Course Cover

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WGST 345 replaces WMST 345

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. WGST 266 is recommended.

Precluded Course: WGST 345 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under two different disciplines—with SOCI 345. WGST 345 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for WMST 345, SOCI 345, or SOCI 312.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Women's & Gender Studies home page

WGST 345 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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An enduring myth holds that women only recently entered the paid labour force and that before this shift women were relegated to domestic “lesser” work or did not perform meaningful work at all. Yet for centuries on this land that is known today as Canada, Indigenous and settler women’s work has enabled our families, our communities, the economy, and the country to exist and function. This course asks why women’s work, in all its forms, has been unacknowledged and undervalued. It also seeks to challenge our assumptions about and issues pertaining to the work that women, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people have been performing before colonization and throughout the history of Canada.


  • Unit 1: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on Women, Gender and Work
  • Unit 2: Advocacy, Inclusions, and Exclusions in Work
  • Unit 3: Prevailing Issues and Transformations in Work

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed WGST 345, students should be able to

  • identify the importance of women’s work, and analyze why women’s work has been exploited, unpaid, and/or underpaid throughout Canadian history;
  • provide examples of how women’s class, age, family status, race, immigration status, sexuality, gender identity, and/or disabilities have shaped their experiences with work opportunities, exclusions, inequality, discrimination, sexual harassment, and assault;
  • evaluate the individual and collective advocacy efforts that women and LGB, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people have used in seeking inclusion and equality in unpaid and paid work;
  • analyze government and workplace policies and programs that have sought to address equality-based issues in unpaid and paid work;
  • debate whether integration into paid work in the current capitalist economic system should continue to be an avenue of feminist equality and liberation; and
  • integrate your own and other people’s experiences in unpaid and paid work through interviews, reading and discussion questions, oral histories, and research papers.


To receive credit for WGST 345, you must complete three assignments and achieve a minimum grade of D (50 percent). You must also receive a course composite grade of D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Essay or Oral History Interview 30%
Assignment 2: Essay or Oral History Interview 30%
Assignment 3: Research Paper 40%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Wilson, S. J. (1996). Women, families and work (4th ed.) Toronto: McGraw–Hill Ryerson. (PDF Online)

All course materials are provided on the course website.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the WGST 345 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least C− (60 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, December 10, 2018.

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