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Record number of women elected, but still far from gender parity

98 women were elected Monday, up from 88 in the 2015 election
parliament hill
Centre Block and the Peace Tower, Parliament Hill. (via Shutterstock)

When Canadians cast their ballots in the federal vote earlier this week, they elected a record number of women to represent them in the House of Commons.

“We saw 98 women elected, up from the previous high of 88 in 2015,” says Eleanor Fast, executive director of the group Equal Voice.

But Fast points out that’s still less than a third of the seats, and the country still has a long way to go in achieving gender parity, which would be half of the 338 ridings.

She says studies have shown jurisdictions with better representation see more political cooperation and conflict resolution.

Fast acknowledges there are still many barriers facing women getting into public life, including inadequate supports and training, and sexist attacks against them, like the vulgar graffiti outside the campaign office of Liberal MP Catherine McKenna on Thursday.

“That’s why we need more women elected,” Fast says. “We need more women standing up to this kind of thing, and we need everyone to know it’s entirely unacceptable.”

Story by Parliament Hill Reporter Cormac Mac Sweeney


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