Colour me surprised.
Not too long ago, Canada didn’t have a single female premier, and it didn’t look like there was going to be one anytime soon.
Well, now there are 6.
Yep. Out of 13 provinces and territories, 6 of them are run by women:
Eva Aariak – Nunavut
Kathy Dunderdale – Newfoundland & Labradour
Christy Clark – British Columbia
Alison Redford – Alberta
Pauline Marois – Quebec
Kathleen Wynne – Ontario
Not only are there 6 female premiers, but women lead provinces that make up 87% of the Canadian population.
Unfortunately, I suspect Christy Clark and Kathleen Wynne will likely suffer the same type of defeat that former Primer Minister Kim Campbell did back in 1993. But for now, this is pretty amazing.
Why the change? Some of it is probably circumstances, but then again, maybe people are finally starting to be okay with women leading. I hope that’s the case.
But, like Campbell said in an op-ed a few days ago, men still account for 75% of politicians across the country. We need more women in politics. Research shows that when women are involved in decision-making and when they make up at least 30% of the decision-making body, women’s issues are more effectively dealt with (I read a book on this a couple of years ago, but of course I can’t remember the name of it now).
I would love to get involved in politics some day, but I hate the partisanship that goes along with it. I’d rather run as an independent candidate, but that’s nearly impossible in our system. And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.
So how can we get more women involved? Part of the problem is that political parties are often run by old boys clubs and it’s hard to get nominated unless you’ve been with the party awhile. But maybe we need to start joining these parties to change the balance. Then again, I’m not going to join a party just so I can run. I’ll only join a party if I actually believe in it.
Another problem is the fact that a lot of women are mothers, and political life is all-consuming. Trying to maintain balance between family and work is very tricky.
It is amazing that we have so many female premiers; they are role models for those of us with political aspirations. But make no mistake: politics is still largely a man’s world, so we must continue to help and encourage those women among us who can lead to take the step and do so.