Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-RaybouldIndependent MPs Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould speak with the media in the foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa, April 3.

Violence a barrier to women entering politics, say researchers

Despite Canada’s self-proclaimed feminist prime minister and gender parity in the federal cabinet, the country falls well short when it comes to women’s representation in federal politics, says UWindsor political science professor Cheryl Collier.

With Tracey Raney of Ryerson University, she has written an article on the subject published Monday in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community.

Canadian women in politics encounter long-standing barriers, including family responsibilities, lack of networks and financial support, and few women role models. However, their piece identifies another barrier uncovered by researchers: violence.

“As more women have entered politics and have shared their experiences often through interviews and memoirs, more attention has been drawn to the phenomenon of violence against women in politics,” they write. “The #MeToo movement has helped too and recent surveys by international organizations point to violence against women in politics as a worldwide problem.”

Dr. Collier calls on legislatures, political parties, social media companies and ordinary Canadians to help end violence against women in politics.

“Isn’t it time to fully open the door to women to be equal participants in politics in Canada and elsewhere? For democracy’s sake.”

Read the entire piece, “Another barrier for women in politics: Violence,” in the Conversation.