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More women in politics needed, leaders pledge to recruit more women

Jun 23, 2009

 

Bea Vongdouangchanh

 
Monday June 22, 2009: Federal political party leaders pledged to nominate more women as candidates in the next election, Equal Voice said last week at a press conference on the Hill to announce its 2009 Canada Challenge.
 
The multi-partisan advocacy group dedicated to electing more women to legislatures in Canada, challenged each party to have more women running as candidates in an effort to get them elected. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe made S.O. 31 statements on Thursday to commit to running more women in the next election, but no Conservative MP did.
 
Status of Women Minister of State Helena Guergis, pictured, did attend the press conference, however, and said that women need every opportunity to “make a meaningful contribution to democratic life in Canada, which includes the option of running for elected office.”
 
Mr. Ignatieff said, “The Liberal Party is committed to having more women in politics, in Parliament, and in government after the next election. On behalf of my party, I commit that no fewer than one third of our Liberal candidates will be women in the next election.”
 
Earlier, Mr. Duceppe said, “Our party is actively working to increase the number of candidates within its ranks. Currently, the Bloc Québécois is comprised of 31 per cent women and we have no intention of stopping there.”
 
Similarly, Mr. Layton said, “the NDP remains committed to an equal voice for women in Canadian politics. We’ve run outstanding women, elected them and been led by them. But we can and will do better. Our goal is greater than 50 per cent.”
 
Equal Voice also released an Environics poll showing that Canadians also want to see more women elected to Parliament. The poll found that 85 per cent of Canadians support “efforts to increase the number of women elected in this country” and 11 per cent of Canadians oppose it.
 
“The polling data released today reinforces the reality that Canadians want the opportunity to vote for more women at the ballot box,” said Donna Dasko, Equal Voice’s national chair and Environics senior vice-president.
 
In the 2008 federal election, 28 per cent of all candidates were women.

 

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