News

Federal election shows only ‘marginal’ boost for women in politics: Equal Voice

Federal election shows only ‘marginal’ boost for women in politics: Equal Voice
Top Stories
Jody Wilson-Raybould was the first female Independent MP elected federally Monday night, and Jenica Atwin became the Green Party’s first-ever elected candidate from outside B.C. by winning a close race in Fredericton, N.B.

SHARE

TORONTO – A national organization campaigning for gender parity in Canadian politics said the advancement of female representation in Parliament after Monday’s election was “marginal.”

This election saw an increase of 10 women elected federally, meaning only 29 per cent of the House of Commons representation is female – a three per cent increase from the 2015 election, according to Equal Voice , the national multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing women to all levels of political office in Canada.

“Canada – internationally – is not where it needs to be,” Nasha Brownridge, national spokesperson for Equal Voice, said in an interview with CTVNews.ca. “Change in Canada has been incredibly slow and incremental and we need to do better, all the political parties need to do better, Canada needs to do better.”

The data pulled from Monday’s election by Equal Voice shows that women now hold 33 per cent of seats picked up by the Liberal Party, 18 per cent of Conservative seats, 37.5 per cent of seats for both the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois , and 66 per cent of Green seats.

Equal Voice, a national organization dedicated to electing more women into all levels of political office in Canada, said the 2019 federal election results showed only a "marginal" boost for women (Equal Voice)

Brownridge said a variety of factors contributed to Canada’ lack of female representation in politics, but a “big one that comes up time and time again is the fact that women, in comparison to men, are less likely to be running in ‘winnable ridings,’” she said. “A large portion of that is because the majority of incumbents are men.”

She pointed to a November 2018 study commissioned by the organization to better understand women in Canada’s engagement, or lack thereof, in politics. The study found that “women need to be asked to run seven to ten times before they will agree,” said Brownridge, adding that “ a man is more likely to just jump into the ring.”

Some of the reasons that women listed explaining their reticence to get into politics were “the negativity and online abuse representatives, and especially women face online, familial and personal responsibilities…and the time commitment,” Brownridge said.

The women in the study also “self-identified as less knowledgeable about politics than their male counterparts,” even if they were as knowledgeable, if not more, than their male counterparts, which denotes that a “culture shift needs to happen,” said Brownridge.

“I do believe that all political parties made an effort to increase the number of women nominated, and succeeded in nominating more women than ever before,” Brownridge said. “But as long as men are re-running in [key ridings] there is less room.”

Brownridge said there were some notable moments in this election, with Jody Wilson-Raybould being the first female independent MP elected federally, and the Bloc Quebecois adding ten more women to its ranks in Parliament.

Equal Voice has committed to working with the political parties to “actively recruit” women, especially since a minority government means that an election could occur before four years is up, Brownridge said.

“Given the results of last night, the change [in Canada] is marginal and incremental,” Brownridge said. “Canada is 54 in the world for elected women…we can do better than that.”
Read more on CTVnews
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Canada
The sentiment behind the words of Madeleine Albright, right — that female politicians deserve unconditional support from other women in their lives regardless of ideological bent — is not unjust...
Canada
The number of federal election candidates from diverse backgrounds continues to rise from election to election, but still falls far short of reflecting Canada’s multicultural makeup. Trending Stories Popular Videos...
Top Stories
There are more women running as candidates in this federal election than in 2011, but one advocacy group says the number still isn t high enough. According to Equal Voice...
Top Stories
While the 42nd general election resulted in dramatic changes in the country s political landscape, the percentage of women who were elected to Parliament has remained virtually unchanged, according to...
Canada
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has a strong message for her 20 year old self in a new video produced by non profit organization Equal Voice. “You will hear from people that you aren’t...