The recent municipal election in St. John’s resulted in an all male city council. This is really strange, since females make up 50 per cent of the population.
In the House of Assembly there are seven women and 40 men, one seat vacant, so roughly 15 per cent of our MHAs are women. In the last federal election, 76 women were elected to the House of Commons compared to 232 men, so roughly 25 per cent of members in the House of Commons are women.
These facts illustrate a disturbing phenomenon regarding women, politics and decisions made by politicians.
Women have certainly demonstrated they are every bit as intelligent as males, outperforming males in grade school, making up the majority of university graduates, forming the majority of medical and law school graduates.
So, why are women doing so poorly in things political? The answer is that while females have broken most of the traditional oppression they have been burdened with since day one, the baby boom generation of men have continued the old boys club mentality when it comes to politics and things political.
For example, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent appointment of Marc Nadon to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada will result in twice as many men as women in the court. He could just as easily have appointed a women.
Another example of men making it difficult for women in politics is found in the Quebec Charter of Values put forth by Premier Pauline Marois. It is, among other things, an attempt to free women from the tyranny of religion, and she finds herself attacked by three former premiers, all men. It should be noted it’s not men who are forced to wear a veil or burka, the outward signs of oppression. The final example of men holding back the equality of females is seen in the attempt by some enlightened women, including former prime minister Kim Campbell, to get the lyrics of “O Canada,” back to the previous gender-neutral composition rather than the masculinized form we now have. Our male politicians won‘t even allow females this bit of equality.
How to overcome the political second-class status of women? Simple, mandate that all municipal, provincial and federal governing bodies must be 50 per cent female. What could be more fair and reasonable? And there is no downside.