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Canadian Women Marching in Washington: Feminist Solidarity in Historical Perspective

by Joan Sangster

A friend’s daughter set out yesterday from Montreal for Washington to join American protests timed to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump. She may not know that she is marching in a long Canadian tradition of cross-border feminist solidarity going back to a 1913 suffrage demonstration, also timed to coincide with a presidential inauguration.

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The Democratic Project: 20 Chinese Women’s Attitudes towards Suffrage and Referendum

by Huai Bao

There is insufficient credible scholarship on women and politics in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Chinese scholarship suffers from unsympathetic scrutiny and editing by state authorities, while language, cultural, and institutional barriers limit access by most Western scholars of women’s politics to Chinese first-person accounts.

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Revisiting the Rise of Women in Canadian Politics

by Grace Lore

Between November 2008 when Eva Aariak, the only woman elected to Nunavut’s 19-member legislature was sworn in as premier and January 2013 when Kathleen Wynne became premier of Ontario after taking over as Liberal leader, six women in five provinces and one territory rose to the top.  Four – BC’s Christy Clark, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Kathy Dunderdale, Alberta’s Alison Redford, and Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne, like the Canadian women leaders before them (Rita Johnston in BC and Kim Campbell federally), became premier /prime minister by winning the leadership of their party and not by seeking an electoral mandate.

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A discussion with Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran

by Grace Lore

Women remain under-represented in politics the world over and Canada is no exception. While municipal politics was once thought to provide a better opportunity for women to enter into and participate in politics, it is far from certain.  According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, less than 25% of all city counselors are women and women comprise a mere 16% of all mayors.

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Canadian 2013 By-elections: Porous politics, vote-splitting, and women’s presence in politics

by Grace Lore

On 25 November2013, voters in four Canadian ridings went to the polls to elect a new Member of Parliament in mid-term by-elections.  The seats were left empty when four MP’s resigned: namely Manitoba Conservatives Vic Toews and Merv Tweed to join the private sector, Quebec Liberal and former interim leader, Denis Coderre, to become mayor of Montreal, and former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae to serve as negotiator for the Matawa First Nations in Northern Ontario. While two races (Toronto-Centre and Brandon-Souris) were highly contested, after the vote count there was no change to the status quo; the Liberals retained seats in Toronto and Montreal and the Conservatives theirs in Manitoba.

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Finding Balance: Enabling women to protect themselves or the perpetuation of rape myths and sexualized violence

by Grace Lore

With four reported stranger attacks at the University of British Columbia from Spring to Fall 2013, sexual assault has been in the spot light. The University and RCMP responded with a series of public messages, signage warnings, and safety campaigns, yet the bulk of these responses reproduced gender bias.  Specifically, solutions overwhelmingly targeted women’s behavior and attitudes, rather than those of the perpetrators.  The result supplies yet one more example of the “victim blaming” that so often pervades public culture.

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Where are the women? Gender Equality in the 2013 BC Provincial Party Platforms

by Kelsey Wrightson

On 14 April 2013, eligible voters will gather at the polls to determine the political leadership of British Columbia. Four major parties are vying to determine the policy future for Canada’s western-most province. In contention for the top spot are Liberal Party leader Christy Clark and NDP leader Adrian Dix. Vying to achieve first-time representation in the legislature are the BC Conservatives led by John Cummins, and the BC Green Party led by Jane Sterk. Despite equal representation of women in party leadership, across the four major parties only 27.7% of candidates are women.

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Sexism and Leadership: the Case of Julia Gillard

by Grace Lore

In 2010, Wales-born lawyer Julia Gillard (b 1961) became Australia’s first female prime minister after she seized the leadership of the Australian Labor Party from Kevin Rudd.  Several months later Gillard and her party won the national election and formed a minority government.  Her victory over Rudd was the first time an Australian prime minister was removed by their party during their first term in office.  It would not be the last, however. Just months before the 2013 election, the Labor caucus, by a 57 to 45 vote, withdrew its support and re-instituted Kevin Rudd.

Throughout her tenure as leader of Australia, Gillard faced explicit sexist personal attacks.

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Gender Representation in Cabinet: BC Election 2013

by Grace Lore

On 14 May 2013, more women were elected to the British Columbia Legislature than ever before.  The election saw the first women to be elected premier and if Premier Clark wins her seat on 10 July, 2013, as is largely expected, the proportion of women will reach a historic 37%. Given the dominance of the executive in the decision-making process and  control of government backbenchers in terms of both votes and political discourse, the number of women in cabinet matters as much and perhaps more.  Women constitute a record 40% of the new cabinet.

Historically, women in executive positions have been confined to the ‘pink collar ghetto’, designated portfolios associated with traditionally feminine roles.

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