Official gender discrimination on campus is supposed to be a thing of the past. It is curious then to discover an aspect of university life where blatant gender bias is permitted to survive conspicuously and unchallenged. The discrimination in question concerns the many scholarships which are granted only to female students.
A quick perusal of the awards page at the University of Ottawa reveals that there are at least a dozen scholarships available only to women. Historically, such awards could be justified on the grounds that female students were underrepresented and frequently confronted with institutional sexism. Today, they are simply unfair.
Consider that on a typical Canadian campus, women make up over 60 per cent of the undergraduate student body and that their presence is no longer restricted to traditionally female disciplines like arts and education. Today, women make up a majority in law and management. In medical studies, the numbers are particularly striking. At one Quebec university, a recent first-year medicine class was 80-per-cent women.