Women in Politics

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Fall Essay: Chapter Fourteen
By: Hannah Moore
CAST - POST 2012Y: Canadian Politics
Seminar: Wednesday 6:00pm – 6:50pm

Historically, women have struggled for power in a male-dominated society. Only recently have women become a more authoritative figure in Canadian politics. However, there is a significant lack of female leadership in comparison to male. In chapter fourteen of Canadian Politics, Lisa Young analyzes this topic in her incisive essay of Women (Not) in Politics: Women’s Electoral Participation. Her argument states that there is still minimal representation of women as political figures, which affects female Canadian citizens negatively. This essay will confirm and update the significance of Young’s topic because the void of female presence in Canadian politics has a direct correlation between Canadian women and lack of sufficient government services. This will be analyzed by the considerable absence of female participation in politics and how is negatively affects single mothers using welfare programs and women of minority handling government services. To understand the negative impacts on Canadian women, this essay will first confirm and expand on Lisa Young’s argument of women not participating in Canadian politics.

In chapter fourteen, Lisa Young explains that considering the history of male dominance in society, there is some developing success for women becoming more involved in Canadian politics. However, she continues to explain that there is still little participation of women in this field of work, even though women are becoming more educated through their growing access to education (Young 284). This shows that though progress has been made, and women’s movements have been heard, the gap between the amounts of male to female politicians is very obvious. Politics can be seen as a very competitive field, and only the ambitious survive. This could influence women to not pursue politics because men are more likely to support right wing political parties, which focus on individualistic values; while women are likely to support parties on the centre or left side of the political spectrum, which targets collectivist values (Young 286). Male dominated politics in relation to right parties on the spectrum explains why there is a strong presence of aggressive competition and individualistic goals in politics, which may deter women from political participation. Lack of female representatives is greatly shown through the World Economic Forum, which Canada ranks poorly in. Canada ranks 38th in areas of political empowerment; as measured by years with female as head of state, women in ministerial positions, and women in parliament (Grant – The Globe and Mail). Tavia Grant from The Globe and Mail quotes the Forum that the reasons for this occurring are due to the relationship of the countries closing the gender gap and those that are economically competitive. Unfortunately, Canada’s ranking is low and shows to be less successful in closing the gender gap; it reflects the small amount of women participating in politics within Canada. This predicament may be explained by how women face adversity in the field of politics. Lisa Young explains that once women are recruited to a political party, their duties are similar to their male colleagues; however, these women find themselves insufficiently influential within their parties (287). This may be because women in politics favour feminist stances in policy making, which conflicts with male politicians supporting individualistic values. It can cause feminist politicians to argue injustice and inequality in support of female representation is policy making. Lisa Young states, “At meetings of the first ministers, where essential decisions about the character of the Canadian confederation are made, there are currently no women” (296). This conflicts with many issues women face because there is little representation by female politicians for these important...
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