Hundreds of studies show that when women are included at high levels,
organizations make better decisions – on everything: health care and research, the economy and the environment, economic strategy and ethical dilemmas.
Women don’t lack ambition, many are leading. But we need more of them.
Women are motivated to attain power to drive positive change in their communities and improve the lives of more Canadians.
But because our current system throws up lots of barriers, women often choose other means outside of politics to make change.
Nevertheless, when the expected benefits are clear, that changes.
(The outcome of the US election in 2016 inspired an unprecedented surge in progressive women candidates.)
It's up to Political Parties to fix this.
More than 100 countries around the world have set minimum targets for women’s representation and tasked political parties with meeting them.
In both Iceland (47.6% women) and New Zealand (49.2% women), political parties embraced voluntary gender quotas.
In Canada, federal parties are already appointing 83% of the candidates they run. It's fair to ask, why aren't more of them women?
In Quebec, women currently hold 46% of the seats provincially.
This is in part because advocates have been pressing the government for years to introduce hard targets. The prospect of targets incentivized parties to recruit and support more women.
While campaign schools provide useful information and reinforce the importance of women’s capacity to contribute, they don’t address the systems-level barriers such as access to funding and influential ‘old boys’ club’ networks.
Campaign schools are not the solution.
Women who win are as or more qualified than men.
Some people worry that introducing targets will result in under-qualified women candidates.
But research finds otherwise. In Sweden, a law requiring parties to alternate men and women on the ballot actually raised the competence of elected officials.
A recent British study also concluded that there’s no evidence that gender parity comes at the expense of quality.