In honour of International Women’s Day, a call to vote for equality

“The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Make it Happen,’” says NUPGE National President James Clancy. “With a federal election just months away, Canadians have a unique opportunity to do just that.”

Ottawa (05 March 2015) — It is now well established and broadly acknowledged that when income inequality is high—when our wealth isn’t shared fairly—everybody suffers. The same is true when leadership isn’t shared fairly. When there is too little diversity among our leaders, they tend to make dangerously one-track decisions that ultimately hurt everybody.

Four out of every five Conservative MPs are male

It’s particularly important for Canadians to keep this in mind on March 8, International Women’s Day. Four out of every five Conservative MPs is a man, and the whole country is suffering from the one-track decision making that results. Our economy’s extreme overdependence on international oil prices is just the most obvious of many examples. The government’s shameful treatment of veterans is another. Its dismissive refusal to address the shockingly high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is another. Still another—tax breaks for the rich only. And yet another—zero long-term planning for our health care system and near total silence on mental health, pharmacare, stable funding.

Percentage of female candidates as of International Women’s Day 2015

  • NDP: 40% (60 of 151)
  • Green: 36% (20 of 55)
  • Liberals: 33% (71 of 213)
  • Conservatives: 19% (39 of 205)

A more inclusive government is possible

“We can have a different kind of government,” says NUPGE National President James Clancy. “The theme of this year's International Women’s Day is ‘Make it Happen,’ and with a federal election just months away, Canadians have a unique opportunity to do just that.

“The more women we elect to Parliament, the more Parliament will act with the interests of all Canadians at heart.”

Internationally it has been done

Clancy says there are already plenty of examples of healthy, thriving countries in which women share more equally in the leadership positions. Just under half of Sweden’s Parliamentarians are women. In Finland, 43 per cent are women. In Germany, it’s 37 per cent.

“Prosperous and progressive countries have more women leaders,” he says. “We can enjoy the same kind of prosperity here, too.”

Debating the issue

NUPGE is a member of the Up For Debate campaign which focuses on three main issues: violence against women, women's economic inequality and supporting women's leadership (including in Parliament). The campaign is encouraging all political party leaders to participate in a debate on women's rights during the upcoming federal election.  Some of the party leaders have already agreed to the debate.  A online petition has been developed to encourage the remaining leaders to join.  Please show support by signing the Up for Debate petition or learn more at


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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