Educational video on women and politics and electoral reform

New Distributor! Resources for teachers, too.

 Moving Images Distribution  now distributes an updated for 2012 edition:

menocracy; Gender Representation in Government

Fairvote Canada provides resource materials for teachers, including a lesson plan for introductory civics and social studies classes.


Video on women, politics and electoral reform

What's wrong with our democracy?

  Women's representation in national governments:

Canada      25 %

UK            22 %

USA          17 %

Some other democracies:

Spain          36 %

Sweden       45 %

Rwanda       56 %


Pushed by the spirit of her great-aunt, Militant Suffragette Gert Harding, Gretchen Kelbaugh searches for ways to elect more women. Leading political scientists from Canada, the USA and the UK and Rt Hon Kim Campbell, the only woman to be head of government in North America, offer many solutions.

Educational documentary (1 h 22 min) divided into three parts for classroom use:

1. what difference does it make having more women in government?

2. why aren't there more women in office?

3. how can we quickly elect more women?

In the end, Gretchen and the sassy spirit learn the surprising truth: not only does our type of democracy fail women; it fails almost everyone. And the secret kept by top politicians: most major democracies have fixed the problem long ago.

And if you prefer to let 'nature' take its course, know this: At our current rate, it'll be over 100 years before half our politicians are women. 

 "So having more women in politics has the impact of shifting the policy debate ... a little bit more to the left .... In that way the policy-makers will really be reflecting the diversity of interests of Canadians as opposed to the interests of male Canadians." Joanna Everitt

Canadian Suffragette Gert Harding inspires filmmaker

Why would I make an educational documentary about women and politics?

Because I'm haunted. I'm haunted by the spirit of Gertrude Harding. Auntie Gert, my mother's aunt, started haunting me a couple years ago. In her 20's, she belonged to the most radical group of women ever to fight for a women's equality: the Militant Suffragettes of Great Britain. Without their violent agitation, British women -- I should say, wealthy white British women -- might not have been granted the vote when War ended in 1918.

But now Auntie Gert's dead. You'd think that my having written her biography might keep her spirit out of my hair. First I start noticing articles in newspapers:

"Numbers of Elected Women Down"

"All 10 City Councillors Men".

And then the story that brings home the absurdity of it all: a committee formed of members of my provincial legislature looked into whether to enact a law forcing companies to pay women the same wage as men for doing work of equal value -- a Pay Equity Law. Because there were so few elected women, it turned out that the committee was comprised of ... 11 men. And what did they decide? 

Here are world rankings with respect to % women in government:

Canada  46th

United Kingdom  58th

USA  80th

Why do we take it for granted that politicians should be mostly men? We let men make laws that affect women differently from them. We let our leaders -- almost all men -- appoint mainly men to be judges, to sit in judgment of other men who might have punched their wives or threatened their ex-girlfriends. Does this make sense?

Join me on my journey to hear why everything from poverty to foreign policy will be different when we change our menocracy to a true democracy.  And learn how most other major democracies elect many more women than we do.

One hundred years ago my Auntie Gert and thousands of other suffragists  in the UK and North America fought for political equality for women. What do you say we finish the job?   <TOP>


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