Pursuing a career in politics is a challenge for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for women. Today 100 women attended workshops at Hamilton’s City Hall to learn about how they can take on a political role, and have their voices heard at decision making tables. The threats, abuse and hardships female politicians often times face are not discouraging more women from pursuing their dreams.
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid read out some of the sexist, threats she received on twitter earlier this year. It’s a story we’ve heard time and time again. It’s something Environment Minister Catherine McKenna knows all too well. Last month, Conservative MP Gary Ritz tweeted “has anyone told our climate barbie?” Ritz later apologized.
Despite the hate, women attended workshops on how to get into the world of politics. Many say the hashtag “Me Too,” where women share stories of sexual harassment, rape and abuse is shining a light on the battles women sometimes endure for their careers. It came about after many celebrities came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Some women said that the “Me Too” hashtag is especially fitting for women in politics. Many said they hope to see a day where women are equally represented at decision making tables.
Organizers of the Elect More Women Conference say most women are still the primary caregivers for children or elderly parents and often times lack the support to become a politician. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formed the first gender equal cabinet, however, only 26 per cent of members of parliament are women.