Feminism has become one of the most controversial and well-celebrated changes in the society for this century and the past one. Where in the past there is a different perception and notion of women, this particular perspective is taken as something that is acceptable according to the set of rules in that particular period in history.

Through time, there have been a wide variety of feminist ideas that have flooded from different countries; advocates of which are consistently asking for equal rights regardless of whether they belong to the male or female group of the population.To date, there are several feminist ideas that served as a part of the Canadian society and have also affected the realm of public policy. In examining the impact of feminist ideas that have and continuously affect public policy in Canada, it is important to define the terms “feminist theories or ideas” and “public policy” in order to provide a better grasp of the concepts and how the two are interrelated. Public policy is considered as government action or inaction that concerns a law that is made in behalf of the public and the impact of which will also lead to the good of the citizens (Birkland 17).Different forms of public policies are followed and are recognized by both the public and private realm, which means that business and for-profit organizations are covered by it (Birkland 17). On the other hand, a safe definition for feminist, according to Lovenduski is “all those nineteenth- and twentieth-century women who supported efforts to ameliorate the condition of women through publicly-organized activity to achieve reforms of the policitical, economic and social institutions which discriminated against women (7).

In effect, the term feminism can be defined as supporting the efforts of women towards the betterment of the condition of women in the aspects mentioned above. Feminist ideas include radical feminism, liberal feminism, and Marxist feminism to name a few. In Canada, the ideas of Marxist feminism and liberal feminism have created much impact and will continuously do so in the future. On the other hand, the tenets of radical feminism are set aside. Marxist feminism touches on the equality of men and women in the workplace and the assurance that the two are given equal footing in terms of class divisions.

In the professional field, the feminists still have a long way to go and much work to do. In fact, the women who are part of the top management in Canada felt that the corporate culture is the source of the glass ceiling that prevents them from going up their career ladder (Price 402). The glass ceiling effect is in existent in different organizations and is a recognized reason for the failure of women to move vertically in their career. More so, it is attached to the notion that women have certain characteristics that prevent them from becoming leaders of organizations.Aside from career growth, wages also serve as another factor that shows the disparity between men and women in Canada. In a survey conducted for the years 1993 and 2002, it is found that wages for the Canadian women is only 69% to 72% of what is earned by men working for the same position (qtd in Konrad 1).

The statistics and scenario shown above may be a nutshell of the entire picture but it shows that Marxist feminists would still have much more to cover in terms of public policy and pressure on government is present in order to provide safeguards for women in the workplace.In fact, one of the expressed goals of the Canadian International Development Agency is to ensure that women enjoy the same rights as men, which includes the workplace (“Equality between women and men”). On the other hand, the liberal feminists “believe that it is the disparity in social conditions, not innate differences, in the capacity to reason, that has interfered with women’s achievements” and is considered to be at the center of minimizing the disparity between genders (Greene 267; Fraser 176).The vehicle for achieving their goals includes legal mechanisms such as laws and policies, which puts the ideas of liberal feminists at greater interaction with the public policy field. Among the issues which form a part of the liberal feminists’ concern involve that of violence against women and the use of women as commodities or for the purpose of selling commodities.

The perceptions of women in society as being limited to particular roles that limit them, compared to that of men, have placed them in a box and are considered to be a violation of the rights of women.In fact, the weakness of women is taken to be the source of the rampant cases where women are considered the victims. Taking the idea of the liberal feminists, there is a need to close the gap between men and women, which means placing laws that will protect the rights of women and ensure their safety against any form of violence that arise from the perceptions and stereotypes against them.Lastly, radical feminists are considered to be of the weakest impact in the Canadian society because the approach of this stream of thought is considered as inappropriate for the present issues faced by women.

The use of legal means, the ideas, and the beliefs espoused by the liberal and Marxist feminists are far more applicable than the approach of the radical feminists. The depth of the issues and the existence of such is considered to be within the realm of the liberal feminists and the Marxist feminists who will still continue to impact the public policy of Canada.