Equal Voice Applauds the Historic Achievement of Six Female Premiers in Canada

Thursday, January 31 2013

Ottawa, Ontario, January 27, 2013: With Kathleen Wynne's victory at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention late yesterday, 87 percent of Canadians will now be governed by a woman.  Nothing short of extraordinary, says Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan organization that has been working to promote the election of women in Canadian politics for over a decade.

"Ten years ago in Canada, there were no women premiers and only three had served as First Ministers," notes Raylene Lang-Dion, National Chair of Equal Voice.

"Kathleen Wynne's victory now makes for six female premiers and further underscores that Canadians are eager to see women lead in every part of the country.  Now the question is - how will each of these women make their impact, individually and collectively."

Study after study has shown that when women are sufficiently represented at the legislative and business tables, policy outcomes and political culture can shift, often significantly.  This is because women politicians bring their own life experiences- and those of women around them - to an arena that has been largely male dominated.

"Polls have consistently demonstrated that Canadians want more women in politics as they believe it leads to more effective and balanced government. And while no two women leaders are the same, we know that their presence as Premiers, Ministers and MLAs can improve the dialogue and enhance public policy making," adds Nancy Peckford, Equal Voice's Executive Director.

In addition to Ms. Wynne, there are five other female premiers in Canada, the longest serving is Eva Aariak- chosen by Nunavut's legislature in 2008. In addition, Christy Clark became British Columbia's Liberal Party leader and premier in March 2011, Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador won a general election in the fall of 2011 and Alison Redford successfully faced Alberta's electorate in April 2012.  Premier Pauline Marois was elected in
Quebec in September 2012.

"For every one of these women premiers, this achievement represents a culmination of the extraordinary time and energy that they themselves, and the women who came before them, have invested in the political process," says Lang-Dion.

For Equal Voice, the time couldn't be better for women to seriously contemplate running for office.

"The opportunities exist - it's a question of seizing the opportunities, rallying good support and never giving up," emphasizes Peckford.

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