March 8, 2018 10:39 pm

Quebec students strike, march in downtown Montreal for paid internships

A student in downtown Montreal during a march protesting unpaid internships in Quebec on Thursday, March 8, 2018.

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A small but vocal group of students staged a one-day strike outside Concordia University on International Women’s Day.

They are among thousands of Quebec students striking to protest unpaid internships and sexual violence against female interns.

Students say paid internships would not only help them financially, but also give them recourse as paid employees against sexual violence in the workplace.

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READ MORE: Feds should track unpaid internships, MPs say

Protesters say paid internships are mostly available in male-dominated fields.

“I’ve seen first-hand medical residents get paid for work that really resembles the one I do,” said Gabrielle Filiou-Chenier, the president of Quebec’s Midwives Student Association.

“It makes me feel really emotional, really underestimated.”

Global News reached out to Quebec’s Minister Responsible for Higher Education, Helene David, to see if the province has any plans to change the law.

A spokesperson says the ministry will look into the issue, in particular, a recent study by university researchers suggesting one in three female interns have experienced sexual violence in the workplace.

“It’s an electoral year so they’ve talked about it. But we want them to know it’s not only an electoral issue, it’s a real issue,” said Kaella Staepels, a member of the Montreal Coalition for paid internships.

IN PICTURES: Quebec students march in downtown Montreal 

 

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