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Gender Balance Needed in Government

Posted on September 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Here's a letter-to-the-editor I wrote. It appeared in New Brunswick's Telegraph Journal newspaper Tuesday, Sept 21, 2010.


Political Science professor Dr Joanna Everitt issued awarning in an article for CBC: "Incumbency and the tendency for both theLiberals and Progressive Conservative parties to nominate men in 'winnable'ridings may mean that unless there are some major upsets in this election, wemay actually find ourselves with fewer women elected after September 27 thanbefore the election."

 

Fewer? New Brunswick is already in the basement among theprovinces for percentage of women elected: 11%, or 6 out of 55 MLAs.

 

Does it matter? Yes. Research shows that women tend to caremore about social welfare issues (eg. education, poverty and healthcare), whilemen care more about economic issues, foreign policy and war. All are important,but we need a gender balance in government to reflect the concerns of society.

 

Being a woman is a plus for political candidates, somethingto consider when voting. Women bring different experiences and viewpoints tothe table.

 

Hon. Mary Schryer, who served all four years in thisCabinet, has done a great job as Minister of Social Development and then ofHealth. Many would argue she's our best minister. Women candidates tend to bemore highly qualified and educated than male candidates. They need to be to getpast the barriers to the male domain of Canadian politics.

 

Don't we need as many women as men making laws about healthcare,education, pay equity, family violence, senior care and childcare? If you'retired of a group that's 90% men making laws and setting policy, then supportwomen candidates. We need fresh points of view.

 


Categories: women and politics

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