Well, Antigone is once again going on the road! I will be in Ottawa this weekend chairing a panel on women in politics. The panel will feature Equal Voice Founder Rosemary Speirs, former Minister Jean Augustine, former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, human rights lawyer Marilou McPhedran and political scientist Emmannuelle Hebert.

Wow! I’m honoured and excited to be moderating a panel with such distinguished guests! I will post about it when I get back! I’ve included a description of the panel for you below.

Uphill Battle: Women in Politics

Erasing the Female Deficit in Canada’s Legislatures

In a country where women represent 52% of the population, currently only 20.8% of Members of Parliament are women. Of our 13 provincial and territorial legislatures, not one even comes close to having women compose 50% of their elected representatives. Although Manitoba leads the pack with 31.5% of representatives being women, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories trail with only 10.5%. Although women recently achieved record gains in politics, including appointment to 50% of Quebec’s provincial cabinet positions, such gains often disguise women’s losses. In Quebec’s last election the percentage of female representatives actually decreased. Worldwide, only 16% of elected officials are women.

This panel will address the deficit of female representation in politics, and more specifically the lack of female representatives in top political roles. We will explore the ways in which women are disadvantaged within and by the political system, including through media biases, systemic discrimination and antiquated public attitudes about gender.