Women Lose in New Cabinet

Tuesday, July 27 2010
We are disappointed that Prime Minister Paul Martin has chosen to reduce the number of women in his cabinet, and to reserve so many of the key portfolios for his male ministers.


For three years, Equal Voice has pressed the political parties to nominate more women for election to Parliament and to select capable women for major appointments. But after the June election women still hold only 21 per cent of House of Commons seats. And while the prime minister boasted that his first cabinet had the greatest number of female ministers ever, he chose this time to drop the number of women in his cabinet from 11 to eight.


Equal Voice, a national advocacy group for the election of more women, congratulates Anne McLellan on her re-appointment as deputy prime minister—as well as the seven other Liberal women who either received full portfolios or appointments as ministers of state.


But we note the strong anecdotal evidence that Prime Minister Martin may owe his minority victory to female voters who apparently supported the Liberal agenda more strongly than male voters. We regret that Prime Minister Martin’s cabinet does not give fairer representation to the female half of the population, and hope he does not intend to take women’s continued support for granted.


For comment: Rosemary Speirs, chair, Equal Voice, 905-509-2777

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