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Young Women Demand an Equal Voice in the Federal Election 2011

Apr 11, 2011

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
Ottawa: Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan organization dedicated to the election of more women in Canadian politics, is working alongside and calling on young women to make their mark on the 2011 federal election.
 
Today, Equal Voice launches the iCommit Campaign, a peer driven initiative which asks young women ranging in age from 18 to 25 to commit to vote in this federal election – and beyond.
 
“Equal Voice aims to ignite in young women a life-long commitment to politics, a commitment which begins by casting a ballot on May 2nd, 2011,” said Nancy Peckford, Executive Director for Equal Voice 
 
Using the catch phrase iCommit to Vote/Run/Lead,  EV is encouraging young women to not only commit to voting themselves on May 2, but to also lead their friends and peers to the polls to do the same. 
 
Further, young women are being invited to champion the cause of electing more women and, ultimately, to consider running for office or running a campaign themselves at the university, community or provincial/territorial/federal level.  
 
 “We recognize that young women’s views are often not sought, represented or heard in the political process”, added Michal Harewood, Equal Voice National Youth Chair.   
 
In the last Parliament, there were five women under the age of forty in the House of Commons (1.6%), compared with twenty-five men under 40 (8%).  Female Members of Parliament comprised just over 22% overall.
 
“Though many young women today are savvy, educated and highly motivated to make a difference, there is often a disconnect between them and federal politics,” noted Amy Kishek, Youth Outreach Coordinator.  
 
The iCommit Campaign aims to reverse this trend by encouraging young women to think of themselves as change agents within the political process itself.”  
 
Equal Voice and its partners at the YWCA Canada, Apathy is Boring, the Girls Action Foundation, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation are inviting young women to share their views and experiences online through iCommit statements, YouTube videos, and other social media tools.  
 
In particular, young women will elaborate on why voting, running and being a leader matters to them and how Canada’s democracy would change if more women were involved.
 
In preparation for this campaign, EV has been organizing a series of campaign schools and speakers’ bureaus designed to familiarize young women with the how-to’s of mounting a student council campaign on the issues they care about.
 
EV is organizing a tweet up from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ET today during which time young women, EV supporters and members, advocates, candidates, party leaders, and others will bring attention to the campaign and commit.
 
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 For more information:
 
Nancy Peckford: npeckford@equalvoice.ca or 613-292-7941
Amy Kishek: akishek@equalvoice.ca or 613-608-7040
www.icommit.org / Twitter: @EqualvoiceCA
 

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