In the last federal election I was pleased that there were more women candidates running to be elected from all the federal political parties. I applaud all of them. But the number of elected women only grew from 29 percent in 2019 to 30 percent in 2021. This is just not good enough. We can do better!
To achieve gender parity in the House of Commons, we need to elect more, diverse women.
If we want change, we need to change how we do things. And one of the best ways to create positive change is to have more women in politics.
But, too often, women who could make extraordinary contributions as candidates are not encouraged enough to step up and take their place.
Women face different barriers than men in politics. For one thing, raising funds to be nominated and run a campaign can be more challenging. For another, dealing with hostile misogynistic comments and attacks on Social Media make women reluctant to step into their rightful place at the political table.
As a multi-partisan organization, Equal Voice and the Equal Voice Foundation are committed to improving gender representation in Canadian politics.
As a mentor for women entering politics for the first time, working with Equal Voice allows me to help inspire and support more women to take leadership roles and be elected at all levels of political office. I know you agree: we must advance our work to ensure that ALL women from diverse backgrounds – including BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+, and disabled women, are represented and have a say in the policies that affect Canadians. This is essential to building and sustaining a strong, vibrant democracy in Canada and around the world. That’s why I’m writing to you today.
We need your help.
Your donation will help us continue to provide unique educational opportunities for women interested in pursuing a career in politics.
Generous gifts from donors like you provide the funding needed for our essential campaign school, Daughters of the Vote program, and training and resources for women candidates. In the lead up to the 2021 federal election Equal Voice provided training on how to fundraise, recruit volunteers, media training and other imperative skills such as strategies to help cope with the impacts of negative Social Media.
We’ve come a long way since Agnes MacPhail, our first woman MP was elected in 1921, but we have a long way to go to have gender equality in politics. When I was elected as an MP in 1993, there were only 8% of us women MPs. The last election we saw 100, or 30 percent women elected! We’ve come a long way, but we can’t stop now! As of writing this letter, I was very encouraged to see that Calgary elected Jyoti Gondek, its first ever woman Mayor! Another step towards normalizing women in leadership positions in politics.
With more provincial elections coming up and possibly a Federal election sooner than we think, we have the opportunity to help attract, support and elect more extraordinary women.
With your support, we’ll continue to work with women and improve their chances of winning their seat when and wherever there is a municipal, provincial or federal election.
Your gift today ensures a better future for you and your family. It’s a fact that women work more collaboratively across Party lines to get things done. Things like essential social programs, protecting the environment, and making sure we all have access to safe health care close to home.
This has been evident now more than ever as we’ve seen women’s leadership across the world make lasting, positive change during the Covid 19 pandemic.
We need to vote for women and elect more women.
Thank you for taking time for this important initiative, one that I believe will make this country stronger as we elect more women in future.
The Honourable Eleni Bakopanos, P.C.
Former Member of Parliament
Ms. Bakopanos has been involved for over 40 years in the community and has served on a number of non-governmental Boards. Presently, she is Past President, member of the Executive Committee and the national Board of Directors of Equal Voice. She is also past Vice-president of the Quebec chapter A Voix Égales. In addition, she is the Vice-President of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians and Honorary President of the McGill Women’s Alumnae Association.