As elections approach, the search for candidates takes the appearance of conscription. The main parties want to attract prominent names and pledge to increase the representation of women in their ranks. But sometimes provincial candidates are placed with little chances of tilting in their favour, causing the proportion of elected women to slowly increase. The challenges are unique to each person who chooses active politics, but women from different ethnic or social backgrounds face significant intersectional hurdles and their leadership is challenged more quickly. They feel they have no room for error.
The House of Commons will have more members of Parliament than ever before. Of the 338 constituencies in the country, 102 . will be represented by women. Never seen like him! But should we rejoice at this record, in which only a third of deputies (30%) are elected women?
Admittedly, the trend has been on the rise for 20 years. But the proportion of elected women is increasing very slowly. In 20 years, I’ve only jumped 10%. She even occasionally suffered minor setbacks (especially in 2006). And if the composition of the current council has remained practically unchanged since 2019, the same applies to the representation of women, which ranges from 29% to 30%.
It should therefore be noted that the distribution of seats still does not actually reflect the Canadian population – which consists of men and women almost equally -. I remember that equivalence area Between 40 and 60%. Canada has not yet achieved this. What explains that? What are the courses of action to address it?
As researchers in the field of political communication, we present some elements of thinking based on work on the representation and media coverage of women within democratic bodies.
Such as Women, Politics and Democracy group, political parties hold the key to achieving parity through the recruitment and appointment of female candidates in eligible constituencies.
Regarding the issue of conscription, the five main political parties (the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian Communist Party, the National Democratic Party, the Progressive Party, and the Communist Party) slightly increased (about 43%) the number of women or people of different races that they represented. Which is a good thing. NPD performed very well with 178 candidates (52.6%), and CCP performed slightly lower with only 33% of candidates.
But women still need to be elected. While figures are not yet available for the 2021 elections, an analysis of electoral data from 3,882 candidates from major parties in the 2008, 2011, and 2015 federal elections by CBC / Radio Canada It shows that women find themselves more than men in defeats that are difficult to win.
Men are placed on average four times more often than women in their party’s so-called “bastion” constituency, i.e. a constituency that won the previous election by at least a 10% margin. We can assume that this was still the case in 2021. Political scientists Melanie Thomas and Marc-Andre Baudé use an image “Sacrificed sheep” To talk about female candidates who are not placed in safe counties.
The role of the media and role models
Other actors in the political sphere also hold the “key to the solution”, such as the media for example. The issue of parity was practically absent from the pages of daily newspapers during the elections. He was rarely called on radio and television, that is at all. However, during the last federal elections (2019), some dailies appeared in particular duty in Quebec with “Evaluation Clock”, measured from week to week to how far political parties were in relation to their intention to recruit more women.
Vigie Parité, a tool set to run throughout the campaign, simultaneously reflected the parties’ efforts as it encouraged them, through text and image, to do one better than the other. Unfortunately, this initiative was not renewed in 2021. Such tools, while they do not guarantee the election of more women candidates, have the advantage of pushing the issue of women’s status into the public sphere in places of power.
Furthermore, the fact that there are so few elected women leads to a lack of role models for women willing to enter politics. The pressure is still great for those who are elected to be role models, and their failures are often the failures of all the women who will follow and wave their decision to go into politics.
As in other non-traditional fields, the lack of role models makes it difficult to imagine yourself in this role. In this election, we had, as in 2019, only one female leader. Anami Paul, the first black woman and the first Canadian of the Jewish faith to lead a federal party in Canada, faced several difficulties during the election campaign. Its leadership was arguably not unified, as her party members and journalists have pointed out, but it faced a large number of overlapping barriers related to gender, race, and religion. hit her flatly Toronto Riding CenterGreen Party leader finally quit.
Recommendations for parity
Where 2021 represents the number 100NS Birthday of the first woman elected to the House of Commons, Agnes McPhailThere is still a long way to go to parity. Canada at 58NS Ranked in the global ranking of the percentage of women in national parliaments established Inter-Parliamentary Union. It lags behind some countries such as New Zealand (49%) and Sweden (47%).
Researchers have already identified the barriers to women’s political participation, their desire to run for office, and their ability to vote and stay in power. By building on Many recommendations Formulated by women’s groups, political scientists, and sociologists working on the issue of women’s place in politics, it would be possible to continue to reverse this trend.
Among these recommendations, let us note the obligation of the parties to respect the “zone of parity” when appointing candidates; Political parties to publish an assessment of their practices and an action plan to increase women’s nominations; introducing procedures for reconciling work and family; Financing structuring projects to enhance the presence of women in politics.
Until parity is reached, we can at least count on Justin Trudeau, Which will undoubtedly introduce a joint government, as in 2015 and 2019. These women will serve as role models for the following and give hope to all to find themselves in a political world that better reflects the makeup of society.
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