FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Number of women and gender diverse candidates in the federal election remains consistent with 2019
(Ottawa, O.N. – August 25, 2021) – Today, Equal Voice released its preliminary analysis on the number of women and gender diverse candidates who are running in the ongoing federal election. While the analysis is incomplete as candidates continue to be nominated, nomination numbers as of yesterday show that the number of women and gender diverse candidates running this year is consistent with the 2019 federal election.
Women Candidates in Election 44
Equal Voice is pleased to see that as of August 24, the five major parties included in the 2021 Candidate Tracker have either slightly increased the number of women and gender-diverse candidates running under their banner or remained consistent with 2019 numbers. The current data shows that women and gender diverse people account for 43% of candidates currently nominated across the five major parties, similar to the total of 42% of women and gender-diverse candidates that ran in 2019.
Currently, of the 335/338 Liberal candidates nominated, 44% are women, a slight increase from 39% in the party’s 2019 slate. The New Democratic Party and Green Party of Canada have nominated 243 and 125 candidates respectively, and at this stage are also showing slight increases in women and gender diverse candidates. The NDP’s nominations include 52% women and gender diverse candidates, from 49% in 2019, and the Green Party’s nominations include 49% women or gender-diverse people, from 46% in 2019. The Conservative Party of Canada is in line with their nominations in the last election with 32% women of the 321 people the party has nominated to date. Finally, the Bloc Québécois has nominated 75/78 candidates total, 44% of which are women, close to the 45% the party nominated in 2019.
Part of breaking down and understanding the barriers Canada faces to achieving gender parity in Parliament is with improved tracking and monitoring of women and gender-diverse candidates in federal elections. This is why Equal Voice has launched their 2021 Candidate Tracker to monitor the women and gender-diverse candidates who put their name on the ballot in support of one of the five major political parties during this election. The Candidate Tracker provides an accessible resource for those interested in the state of gender parity in the 2021 Canadian federal electoral race to learn more and support those running.
“In a particularly challenging time for women and gender-diverse people in Canada and around the world due to the pandemic, we are pleased to see how many women and gender-diverse people are running in this federal election,” said Eleanor Fast, Equal Voice’s Executive Director. “What remains to be seen is if this will translate into electing more women and gender-diverse people on September 20. Factors such as if these candidates are running in winnable ridings and the unique types of barriers that women and gender-diverse people face on the campaign trail are among those that will determine the gender breakdown of our next Parliament.
The last session of Parliament concluded with 100-women MPs in the House of Commons, or 29.6% of total elected representatives in Canada’s federal Parliament. This places Canada at 55th place in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) global rankings of women in national parliaments. Should Canadians elect over 136 women on September 20, the 40% mark would be attained in Canada and its global rank would be closer to the top 40.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first woman MP being elected and yet the last Parliament concluded with only 100 women MPs. While this is an important milestone, it shows that we are not moving forward fast enough and how much more needs to be done to achieve parity in federal politics.” Continued Fast. “Electing at least 136 women and gender diverse candidates this year and crossing the 40% mark would be a historic step in the right direction towards gender parity.”
Tools and programs to get women elected
In addition to the 2021 Candidate Tracker, Equal Voice puts forth a variety of initiatives to help women get elected. This year, Equal Voice has hosted campaign schools across the country, created an online Political Parties Series, and organized the third iteration of Daughters of the Vote, a national multi-partisan forum for 338 young women from each federal riding.
Equal Voice is encouraging all Canadians to show support for women and gender diverse candidates across the country in this election, by donating to their campaigns, getting involved, displaying signs, and encouraging women and gender diverse people to run. Those interested in finding a women or gender diverse candidate in their area to support can start by visiting the 2021 Candidate Tracker to get started.
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Founded in 2001, Equal Voice is a national, bilingual, multi-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.