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The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women

Women in Politics 2020





Sub-Category: GENERAL

Resolution Number:



Trenton & District








BACKGROUND: Women represent 50% of the population in Canada. Women have different perspectives, insights, political preferences, and priorities than men. In 2019, Canada elected 98 female MPs which is historic but only represents 29% of elected seats. Women’s under-representation results in decision and policy making not representing all groups’ perspectives and insights. Political equality and policies require more women to be elected. Implementation of the Vecchio Report (2019) recommendations and consideration of its observations will assist in increasing the number of and improving the experiences of female politicians throughout Canada.Vecchio Report (2019) identified seven barriers to increase women’s representation in government: gender stereotypes and discrimination, women lacking confidence in their abilities, lack of political parties actively recruiting women candidates, lack of financial support for campaigns, lack of family-friendly and gender sensitive workplaces, gender-based harassment and violence, and gender-biased media treatment. The committee stated implementation of their fourteen recommendations would increase and retain female politicians. By putting a non-partisan committee in place to review and implement these recommendations, steps could be made to not only increase representation of women but to retain those that have already stepped up to these important positions.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) acknowledges the Government of Canada for striking a non-partisan committee to barriers to women entering politics which was outlined in BPW Canada’s 2017 #4 resolution: Increasing Women’s Participation in Politics which states, “BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada, specifically the Minister of Status of Women (now Minister of Status of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Development) and the Minister of Democratic Institutions (now President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada), to undertake an investigation by a non-partisan committee of experts into the process that political parties undertake to encourage women to obtain party nominations and then provide recommendations to political parties on how they can improve their recruitment of women candidates”;

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada reaffirms the BPW Canada’s resolution, Equal Participation of Women in Politics – 2011-02, which states BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to enact legislation requiring political parties to ensure that women occupy at least 50% of each party’s candidate list and that women be in at least 40% of the electable positions;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to create a non -partisan committee of high level politicians from all parties to review the Vecchio Report (2019): Elect Her: A Roadmap Improving the Representation of Women in Canadian Politics Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to mandate the non-partisan Standing Committee on the Status of Women to create a strategic plan which addresses the Vecchio report’s recommendations and observations, specifically:
• developing a public education campaign whereby all federal, provinces, and territories incorporate gender stereotypes and female political participation in their educational curricula, and
• encouraging all jurisdictions throughout Canada to make more gender diverse legislatures, and fund awareness campaigns and training programs regarding traditional and social media’s gender bias and harassment of female politicians to promote more female representation in the Canadian Legislative Assembly;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to update this strategic plan annually and make the updated plan available to the public and report on achievements on the plan.

©BPW Canada

Article ID: 13340