Educational video on women and politics and electoral reform


Fair Vote Canada's Petition

Posted on March 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM Comments comments (0)

Researchers and political science profs know that by switching to Proportional Representation for our voting system, used by most of the developed world, we would elect many more women and our governments would better reflect the diversity of society. To complain to the Canadian Government:

There seem to be more and more articles and interviews by both women and men saying that we need more women in government. Could the tide be starting to turn?

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)

book on history of women

Posted on July 15, 2009 at 4:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Just read about a new book called A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert. Can't wait to read it.

I feel in tune with the author because one of the ideas behind the book seems to be that despite the suffragists of 100 years ago being long dead, their spirit lives on in women today, especially so in the descendants of those early activists. (I've picked this up from a book review.)

I like to think that my feminist and socially activist projects are a direct result of being the great-niece of Militant Suffragette Gertrude Harding.

If you're interested in reading about Ms Walbert's book: