Community & Current Events

Grassroots group: Equal Voice

Photo courtesy of Equal Voice Image by: Photo courtesy of Equal Voice Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Grassroots group: Equal Voice

Challenge: Canadian women comprise 50.4 percent of the population, yet female representation in Parliament hovers around the one-quarter mark. We won the right to vote in 1919, so why aren't we better represented in office?  

The response: In 2001, members of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund met to discuss this issue. Soon after, Equal Voice (EV) was formed with the goal of getting more women into Parliament. EV lobbies political parties to field more female candidates, creates public awareness campaigns highlighting the need for gender parity in office, and offers a virtual "campaign school" called Getting to the Gate, aimed at coaching women who seek office.

A customized version was designed for First Nations, Métis and Inuit women, and young women seeking leadership positions in their schools and communities. "We know there are tremendous opportunities to run for office, but women face challenging questions like: ‘How do I [balance] my personal life with my life as a candidate or elected official?' and ‘How do I access and raise money?'" says Raylene Lang-Dion, national chair of Equal Voice and co-founder of its Ottawa chapter.

Lang-Dion has advice for women ready to rise to the challenge: "Just as many people who oppose you will support you. Push through the challenges and lean on others who can help to ensure success!"

Let's get more women elected to the halls of power! Visit EqualVoice.ca to learn how you can help.


To learn more about International Women's Day, check out our State of the Sisterhood project.
                                            
This story was originally titled "Political Representation" in the March 2014 issue.
           
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Community & Current Events

Grassroots group: Equal Voice

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