FUNDAMENTAL FACTS

 

The Facts, Ma'am

Facts about women in politics in Canada

 

EV Speaks Out

 

Updated: Elected women in Canada by the Numbers

 

For the past decade, Equal Voice has been tracking the number of women elected to Federal, Provincial/Territorial Legislatures and Municipal Councils across Canada. To access the most recent numbers (June 2014) on the representation of women in jurisdictions across the country, click here

 

Canada is gaining momentum in women's representation.


Incredibly, within the past two years we have seen a huge developments in the Canadian political landscape. The 2011 federal election achieved a historic high in terms of women’s representation in Parliament. In total, 76 women were elected to Parliament representing 25 percent of the 308 seats (two women have subsequently resigned). In the 2015 federal election, 88 were elected to represent 26% of the 338 seats.

In 2013, over 85 percent of Canadians were governed by a female premier. These included: Eva Aariak in Nunavut (who lost her seat in the Nunavut elections in the fall of 2013), Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador (who resigned in January 2014 after winning a majority mandate in 2011), Alison Redford in Alberta (who resigned in March 2014 after winning a majority mandate in 2012), Christy Clark served as Premier of BC from 2011 - 2017, as well as Pauline Marois in Quebec (who lost the provincial election in the Spring of 2014) and Kathleen Wynne was the Premier of  Ontario  from (2013 -2018). The only current premier woman, Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, has governed as Premier since 2015, and won a majority mandate for her party.

 



A closer look at the number reveals...


For awhile, Canada had been slipping in terms of the number of women candidates running for Parliament. In 1993, a historic 476 women candidates ran for elected. In 2006, only 380 women ran in the federal election. Fortunately, this trend began to reverse itself when 445 female candidates ran in the federal election of 2008. In 2011's federal election, 452 women ran as candidates and a record high of 76 women were elected to Parliament. These women also broke another record in electing 18 women under the age of 40.

In the 2015 federal election, 26% of elected officials were women and for the first time in Canadian history a gender parity cabinet was created. 

 



Women’s representation around the world.


The Inter-Parliamentary Union ranks Canada 61st (as of May 2018) in the world on their “List of Women in National Parliaments.” Rwanda counts as the country with the most women elected at 61.8 percent. Regionally, Nordic countries have been best at electing women and continue to hold that record.

The top ten counties by ranking are: Rwanda, Cuba, Bolivia, Grenada, Nambia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Sweden, Mexico and Finland.

 



Women still encounter barriers when seeking elected office and once in elected office:


There is still stereotyping of women’s role and abilities; media imbalances in the treatment of women politicians; and a rampant sexist perception of women’s conduct and behaviour. A quick visit to Madam Premier blog will detail the numerous misogynistic comments that are targeted towards women politicians. 

 


 

To level the playing field...


Many parliaments and political parties across the world are implementing well funded national action plans to reduce the barriers by recruiting and training women candidates, offering family friendly work environments, introducing proportional representation, electoral financing reforms, setting targets, constitutional reforms, and public awareness campaigns.

 



Women in politics can make a difference.


Polling shows that women care about different issues. The United Nations says that a critical mass of at least 30% women is needed before legislatures produce public policy representing women's concerns and before political institutions begin to change the way they do business.

 



What can you do?


Join Equal Voice to support our work in electing more women to every level of government.

Sign up for our E-Updates to stay up to date about different events, political progress and news.

Know a woman you think should run? Tell her! Or consider running yourself!

 

 

 

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Thanks also to the Government of Canada (Status of Women & Canadian Heritage) for their financial support.