Equal Voice to Mark International Women's Day by Celebrating Political Game-changers

Ottawa: This International Women’s Day, Equal Voice will celebrate two political game-changers: Ontario’s PC MPP Lisa MacLeod and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Equal Voice, Canada’s only national multi-partisan organization dedicated to the election of more women, will host a luncheon in honour of Ms. MacLeod and Prime Minister Trudeau on Thursday, March 8, at the Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street, in Toronto.

The event begins at 11:45 and both honourees will be in attendance.

Lisa Macleod will receive Equal Voice’s 2018 National EVE Award, conferred annually, while the Prime Minister will receive its periodic Catalyst for Change Award. This Award is reserved for male leaders who have made significant strides in elevating the role of women in public office.

“The respective leadership by Ms. Macleod and Prime Minister Trudeau within and across parties at two levels of government has created profound cultural change for the political institutions in which they serve,” says Nancy Peckford, Executive Director.

“Change doesn’t happen without clear commitments and concerted action. In the case of both Lisa MacLeod and Prime Minister Trudeau, their efforts to engage many more women in the political process have had incredibly positive results in Ontario and throughout the country,” emphasizes Equal Voice chair Nicole Foster.

Early in her tenure as an Opposition MPP, Ms. Macleod successfully petitioned her peers at Queen’s Park to change the sitting hours to reflect a more contemporary workplace. The legislature now regularly convenes at 9 a.m. and midnight sittings are a rarity.

For Ms. MacLeod, as the youngest woman elected in 2006, and a mother of a 1 year old, creating a more inclusive Queen’s Park was imperative not just for her, but for her colleagues from all parties.

Ms. MacLeod subsequently became an early and crucial champion for Equal Voice’s ambitious Canada 150 initiative, Daughters of the Vote. The initiative brought 338 diverse and dynamic young women leaders from the ages of 18 -23 to the House of Commons on International Women’s Day 2017.

In 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau’s appointment of Canada’s first ever gender balance federal cabinet made history in Canada, and headlines around the globe. While Premiers Charest and Rachel Notley had also appointed gender balanced cabinets, Ms. Notley having done so just months before, Mr. Trudeau broke new ground in the federal arena.

The move unquestionably raised the bar and compelled many Premiers and global leaders to aim for better gender balance in their own cabinets. Consequently, in Canada today, women hold a critical mass (defined by the United Nations as 33 percent) of cabinet positions in seven provinces and territories.

In addition to gender parity cabinets federally and in British Columbia and Alberta, women hold 43 percent of cabinet positions in the Yukon, 41 percent of cabinet positions in Ontario and Quebec (respectively), 38 percent in Nunavut, and 35 percent in Nova Scotia.

Worldwide, six countries now have gender parity cabinets, including Canada, France, Bulgaria, and Sweden.

“Women really need to see the difference one can make in politics. Having so many talented and diverse female Ministers in cabinet positions across the country is a huge step in the right direction. It underscores for women in Canada that politics presents enormous opportunities to make meaningful change.”

“Further, Prime Minister Trudeau’s leadership in championing women within government and beyond has had the powerful effect of setting the bar so much higher for governments past and present,” Foster added.


Past Recipients of the National EVE Award include the Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, former federal cabinet Ministers Flora MacDonald, Carolyn Bennett, and Leono Aglukkaq, Premiers Kathleen Wynne, Rachel Notley and Eva Aariak as well as leaders Andrea Horwath and Elizabeth May.

Only four men have been recipients of the Award designated for male leaders, including Mr. Trudeau. They also include: the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney for his bold appointment of women to unconventional cabinet posts, the Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien for his strong commitment to elevating women to senior roles, including ifederal appointments, and NDP Leader Jack Layton, who ran the highest percent of women in any federal election in 2011.

Eve Award Luncheon

Featuring the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister & Lisa MacLeod, Ontario MPP
Thursday, March 8 2018. 11:45 – 1:45 p.m.
Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street, Toronto ON

For more information, or to attend the luncheon, please contact:

Andrea Chrysanthou
Global Public Affairs
[email protected]

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