Last week was the celebration of International Women’s Day. This special worldwide celebration arose out of a long-standing movement for women to participate equally in society, and we Canadians partake fully in this great day. Hurrah Canada!
What concerns me though is the lack of women in Canadian politics. Canada is showing a huge gender gap on the political landscape ranking 45th for the number of women represented in Parliament compared to other countries. I know, I know, we have had one female prime minister, one in twenty-eight I might add since the year 1867!
Not only do I think this is disappointing, it is downright blasphemy as women’s lives reflect a different set of experiences that requires appropriate representation and we represent 52% of the population.
I think we don’t enter into the political arena for a variety of reasons. One, who has the time? If you are a typical career woman with kids and a house to maintain, we are busy. Busy with the childrearing, shopping, housecleaning and did I forget to mention pleasing your man and looking like a super model. Ok maybe not a super model, but like we just stepped out of a salon? We do it all. So, we should only enter into this arena when our husbands have moved onto their second “younger” wives, kids off to University and we have spent the last 20 years of our lives gaining the necessary experience of domesticity which also now includes pseudo stripper.
Also, the political arena is tough, aggressive, intimidating and dominated by males. As we all know, most women really don’t like to get their hands dirty, nor fight as they fancy naughtiness, wink-wink, instead. They would prefer to spend their quiet time sitting in a salon getting their nails done and talking about the latest Brangelina saga, “Is that Angelina pregnant again?”, then take on the serious business of government.
Seriously! I think the reason why women don’t enter is because women haven’t been asked and our current political culture isn’t conducive to supporting women in politics in the first place. We have not prioritized, like other countries, the advancement of women in the political domain. We also trash and criticize harshly female leaders today. Who wants the constant barrage of extremely nasty, sexist and seriously inappropriate criticism. It’s not for the faint of heart.
I don’t want to pit one gender over another and I believe in the “best human for the job”, not a leprechaun (Happy St. Paddy’s day by the way) however, we need a more balanced culture and the positive contribution that women can make in the political arena cannot be ignored. So to all you women out there, put down that frying pan, take off the apron, unplug the iron, and put your best leg, um your best self forward and give politics a try.