Women and Political Representation in Canada: Equality, Fairness, and Capabilities

Decent Essays

Women and Political Representation in Canada: Equality, Fairness, and Capabilities

I. Introduction Social equality is the concept in which all individuals possess the same fundamental basic liberties, opportunities, moral value/respect, and social benefits. The concept of ‘equality’ has a multiplicity of meanings and definitions, and with the rise of liberalization and democratization around the world ‘social equality’ has become the most predominant. As economic openness creates greater wealth disparities, the parallel rise of democratization has enabled citizens to demand more accountability measures and public welfare services from their governments in order to manage such disparities. Although the movement towards greater social …show more content…

With wage discrimination between men and women, occupational segregation, higher poverty rates among females, and the lack of women in the decision-making body, Canadian women continue to fall behind men economically, socially, and politically. According to Linda Trimble and Pamela Marie Paxton, the lack of female political representation has been the principal reason for ongoing gender inequality. The underrepresentation of women in decision-making positions results in the neglect of women’s issues in public policies and programs; thus, the lack of critical numbers of women representatives not only impedes women from important negotiations in areas of finance or labour, but it also allows for the unequal status quo to continue/exist between genders.
Women legislators have consistently made up 22 per cent of Canada’s Parliament ranking Canada 48th in the world when it comes to electing women to its national parliament. Canada has lagged far behind other similar countries that are too rooted in values of liberal democracy, the welfare state, and social equality. On average, 43 per cent of women hold decision-making positions in Nordic countries. Why has Canada fallen behind in promoting greater female political representation? Feminists like Catherine MacKinnon, have argued that Canada’s lack of female political representation has been a result of the patriarchal character of Canada’s liberal political system in which concepts of formal

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