Nova Scotia rural communities represent a diverse array of cultural and heritage groups, including African Nova Scotians, Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and Europeans as well as new Canadian populations. In this rural context, girls often face genuine and constant gender-influenced barriers. A dependence on resource-based industries, limited access to a diversity of role models, the burden of gendered, multiple social roles, and reduced access to higher education and broad school curriculum have the potential to limit work, school, and life choices for rural girls.
Canadian statistics and research on rural youth educational, health and employment outcomes indicate that marginalized female youth are more at risk for psychosocial adversity, and more likely to follow low status or low pay employment pathways. On a global level, the number of young adults not in employment, education, or training of any kind has increased dramatically in the developed world. Young women, rather than young men, are more likely to be in this position, among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.