Politicians urge more women to run for politics
Published Wednesday, June 7, 2017 6:33PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 7, 2017 6:34PM EDT
Quebecers may have elected a woman as premier, but female politicians say the province must do more to encourage women to run for public office.
"I think we need to encourage them. For sure it's hard to attract women in politics, but also in the business world," said Minister of the Economy Dominique Anglade.
The topic was first and foremost on many minds this week following the speech made by former U.S. president Barack Obama.
He was questioned Tuesday about his thoughts on women in politics, and he encouraged women to run.
"I think that in my lifetime we will see a woman president of the United States. I don't know who that will be, but I believe that will happen," said Obama.
That was an encouraging thing for Liberal Minister Christine St-Pierre to hear as she sat in the audience.
The Minister of International Relations said Obama seems to understand women's struggles because of his own work in breaking barriers.
"He was black, and he was part of a minority, and he broke the glass ceiling -- his glass ceiling," said St-Pierre.
She added that politics in Quebec is still an "old boys' club" that women fight to enter.
"This is a game of men... and we have to play according to their rules. And this is why we need more women in politics to make sure that we change the rules in politics, the way to do things in politics," said St-Pierre.
CAQ MNA Claire Samson agreed.
"Particularly young women, for whom it's not easy to to reconcile family and work, and politics is not easy," she said.
Veronique Hivon, PQ MNA and former cabinet minister, said that women are often deterred by the craziness of political life.
"Sometimes, it is a circus, and I think that, on that, they are really, you know, in phase with the population. The population wants change," said Hivon.
This past weekend, Premier Philippe Couillard told Liberal party members he is hoping at least 40 percent of Liberal candidates will be female.
The Parti Quebecois is promising the same.
"In choosing our candidates we have to have this in mind, and we're going be on the parity zone in terms of candidates in the field next year," said Jean-Francois Lisée.
Critics argue parties saying fielding roughly equal numbers of candidates can be symbolic.
However they say parties need to make sure they are running female candidates in ridings where a party actually has a chance of winning.