Founded in 2001, Equal Voice brings women and men together from across the political spectrum in its nine chapters across the country. They include chapters in: British Columbia, Alberta (south and north), Ontario (Toronto and Ottawa), Saskatchewan, three of the four Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick), as well as a dynamic national youth chapter. .
The Equal Voice National Advisory Board includes some of Canada’s most prominent women politicians - all groundbreakers in their time – representing three political parties.
Equal Voice promotes the election of women by:
Equal Voice's National Board began a strategic planning process in the fall of 2013. After convening nearly all of Equal Voice's 16 board members during a two day in person meeting, EV identified five pillars of activity/focus. These include:
1/Equipping women to run;
2/Encouraging/supporting/defending elected women;
3/Engaging with political parties;
4/Establishing/honing partnerships with relevant stakeholders;
5/Enhancing organizational capacity
You can view the Equal Voice strategic planning chart by clicking on the link below. EV looks forward to providing more information on how it is actioning these pillars in the coming months.
Now we need action from our political parties, our governments and women and men who want to see more women on the ballot. At the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women, Canada committed to "take measures to ensure women's equal access to and full participation in power structures and decision-making" and to "increase women's capacity to participate in decision-making and leadership."
Far more women need to run in Canada for all levels of government. During the last federal election (2011), just over 30 percent of candidates for the five major parties were women, a historic high but nowhere near where we'd like it to be.
Canadians have said time and time again, including in our own national Environics poll, that they want more opportunities to vote for women. Political will and a commitment on the part of leaders and their political parties is crucial. As Canadians saw in this past federal election, when parties focus on fielding higher numbers of women in winnable ridings, the numbers will go up!
Equal Voice encourages political parties to be proactive in recruiting and supporting women candidates to run in winnable ridings. Parties may decide to tackle this challenge in different ways and all parties have to identify processes that work for them.
EV also aims to encourage and equip women to take that crucial step to put their name forward, whether it is to seek a party nomination, stand for office for a municipal or band council, become involved as a volunteer in a riding association, or simply support a woman you know who is seeking elected office. To this end, EV runs a number of programs to help women become more comfortable with the prospect of running.
To level the playing field, many parliaments across the world are creating more opportunities for women by: 1/ recruiting and training women candidates; 2/offering family friendly work environments; and 3/ introducing measures such as proportional representation, electoral financing reforms, targets, constitutional reforms, and public awareness campaigns.
Equal Voice knows that more women in politics will improve the opportunities of other underrepresented Canadians and create a healthier, more democratic political system.
Get involved... in equal voice chapters
from coast to coast.
Find one near you, or perhaps even start a chapter.
Getting to the Gate Online
For women of all ages, back- grounds & walks of life interest- ed in running for public office.