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Featur e


Speaking to the Ladies of the House


By Katlyn Harrison


In August, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean organized a two-day conference at Rideau Hall to cel- ebrate the 50th


The legislation granted limited equality rights to women and is widely considered the start of the second wave of feminism in Canada.


A common theme for many of the speakers at the con-


ference was the lack of elected women across the country. Despite making up almost 52% of the population, women represent only 22% of the Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. Provincially, only two women in Canada’s history have become Premier after leading their respective parties to victory in a general election.


48 Campaigns & Elections | Canadian Edition


With such an obvious disparity, many hope that the anniversary of the Canadian Bill of Rights.


third wave of Canadian feminism will tackle the need to ensure greater female representation in our legislatures. When the third wave starts, it may be led by an unlikely band of revolutionaries, with an even more unlikely name – the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of Can- ada’s Women’s Association (CPACWA). The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association found-


ed its Women’s Association in 1995 in Sri Lanka, with hopes of increasing participation of women both with- in the Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association and within their own governments over time. The Canadian branch of the Association recently ap-


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