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30-tweet Argument

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Read my 30-tweet argument (boiled down from Menocracy) about why we need to elect more women and how to do so. Starts Oct 30, 2011.  http://twitter.com/GKelbaugh

Challenge parties to nominate more women

Posted on August 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM Comments comments (0)

Great to read this letter in my provincial paper, the Telegraph Journal, yesterday:

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/750795


Then I read an online response to it, positive except for the last sentence:

"Nominating them because they are women will just destroy everything that the women before have fought so hard to achieve though."

- Doesn't Matter, Moncton


I strongly disagree, and my great-aunt was one of the women who fought so hard to get us the right to vote. Recent history shows that if we wait for nature to take its course, it'll be over 200 years before women have equal representation! We made fast progress during the 1980s and early '90s, but it has stagnated since then (and in the UK, women are losing ground slightly). I'm not content to wait another 20 years, let alone 200.


Most other major democracies use quotas of various forms -- some mandatory, some not -- to help women get elected in greater numbers. Our democracy is broken. Women, over half the population, have around 20% representation in government. Not fair. Not just. Not acceptable.

 

 


Need for Quotas for Women Candidates

Posted on August 2, 2009 at 11:08 AM Comments comments (4)

I keep hearing politically active people, women included, say No to the suggestion of quotas for women candidates. Why are they considered so terrible?


Quotas are one of the key ways that most of the world's leading democracies -- and many smaller ones -- have so many more elected women than we have in Canada, the USA and the UK (Canada is ranked 48th in the world for percentage of elected women). From Sweden to Belgium, Germany and Spain and from Rwanda to South Africa and Peru, quotas for women candidates are used to great success.


 

Some say that women who get in because of quotas won't be respected. In 2005, the Labour Party in the UK had Women-Only Short Lists for candidates in some ridings. A few years later, no one remembered which MP's were from those quota ridings and which weren't -- there was no discrimination.


 

We Canadians use quotas all the time: geographical quotes. This ensures no one region dominates in government. But men still dominate politics for many reasons, so we need gender quotas until the barriers to women are gone.


 

Some barriers?

1. party elites prefer to choose men candidates

2. the high cost of campaigning (women still earn only 70% as much as men)

3. politics is time-consuming and not family friendly, which puts off more women than men (as society still expects women to do the majority of housework, childcare and eldercare)

4. the aggressive nature of politics puts off more women than men

5. media sexism

 

 For info on quotas for women:

Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)


Where are the Women in Politics?

Posted on July 21, 2009 at 10:22 AM Comments comments (1)

 

Just read a great article about the need for measures to up the numbers of elected women, written by the head of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the the Status of Women. Don't know how long it'll be posted here:


http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/733886

 


So many people say, "We can't allot a percentage of elected seats to women" as if quotas were something terrible. Our voting system is based on geographical quotas so that certain areas of a province, state or country don't go under-represented. And yet we allow women, over half the population, to be chronically under-represented. If anything, your life is affected by your gender much more than by your locale.


Two answers to increase numbers of women: quotas and switching to a proportional system of voting.