Women make up a quarter of elected officials while making up half the population in Canada. It’s not good enough.
The reason I started Femme Wonk was because I was tired of seeing transformational policies go un or under reported while a focus on government debts and deficits blossomed. I was tired of hearing that policies created to serve the most vulnerable in society were actually ineffective, or re-victimizing to our fellow citizens. We wouldn’t stand for being treated that way, so why are we asking our most disenfranchised to?
I was tired of diverse voices being left out of the conversation time and time again.
So I decided to start having these conversations.
What I’ve learned is that folks don’t necessarily intentionally leave others out of the conversation, but rather we’re all influenced by our own lived experience. In many cases, the folks that caused me so much frustration don’t realize that they almost always quote men in their articles, that they don’t cover social issues nearly as much as traditionally economic issues, or that they are obliviously reinforcing imbalances in our society. They have a duty to get it right, but we have a duty to get it right too.
The Femme Wonk podcast has been up and running for 7 months now. We’ve posted 25 episodes and had nearly as many guests. We’ve talked about topics ranging from political platforms to pay equity. We’ve talked to a former premier, a grandson of Nelson Mandela, and far too many dedicated advocates to count.
But the common thread remains the same: Our society will not achieve true equality until we see equality in our highest offices — the House of Commons, provincial legislatures, municipal governments, CEO suites, and all other leadership positions.
And by the way, this means more than just supporting white women. Racialized women, indigenous women — all women identifying people need a seat at the table.
The 2019 Federal Election is around the corner and this is our shot at chipping away at the inequity in the House of Commons. We feel like it is our duty to promote this message far and wide. We don’t just need women to know that we’ll support them when they run, but we need our neighbours to know that women deserve to take their seats in the House of Commons.
I want you to wear this shirt as a badge of honour — a way of remembering the women who have blazed the trail to lead us to this moment today, while also saying the status quo is not good enough.