Women’s Equality in the Election

Part 3 in an ongoing series of voting-related blogs by Women’s Centre volunteers leading up to the federal election.

It’s less than a week away from Election Day. For the past two months we’ve heard a lot about economic plans, taxes, jobs, and foreign policy. We haven’t heard a lot about how these policies will advance women’s equality.

Because women’s issues rarely take front and centre in federal politics, Up for Debate called for a leaders debate that would focus exclusively on women’s issues. The debate did not happen because some party leaders refused to attend.

Plan B was more successful. Some leaders did agree to one-on-one interviews with Up for Debate to discuss women’s issues.  You can read the transcripts or watch the interviews on YouTube.

It’s important to find out what your local candidate thinks about the policies that matter to women too. When they knock on your door, ask your candidate what she or he will do to support the policies that you care about.

Here are some issues that Women’s Centre volunteers have been working on since we opened our doors:

  • Child Care: How will your candidates advocate for high quality, accessible, and affordable childcare? Do they support a national childcare program? How will they negotiate this with the provinces? How will they work to make sure that Aboriginal children have access to good childcare?
  • Ending Poverty: What policies do your candidates advocate to address the disproportionately high levels of women’s poverty in Canada? Do they support universal social programs that support women through difficult times and also advance women’s equality? How do their party’s policies address the wage gap?
  • Ending Violence Against Women: Do your candidates support an Inquiry on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women? Will they support emergency programs that help women leave violent relationships and long-term programs that help women live independently from abusive spouses? What programs do they think will end sexual harassment in the workplace? What kinds of programs will they introduce to reduce sexual assault?

If they don’t come to your door, call them or send them an email. You can also find contact information or more about their party platforms on their websites.

At the Women’s Centre, we work hard to convince our elected representatives at all levels of government that it’s important to use a gendered lens to develop and review policy. Find out what’s in the platform and vote for the candidate in your riding who you think will advocate for issues that will advance women’s equality.

For more in the blog series, check out Voting 101 and A Brief History of the Women’s Vote.

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