Report shows Canadian Women don’t know much about Politics

Here is the Equal Voice press release:

Over the past week, a prominent study by a researcher from the United Kingdom suggested that Canadian women know significantly less than men about the political arena in terms of formal knowledge. In fact, the study suggests that women in Canada are some of the least informed citizens when it comes to political information of those in advanced industrialized countries!

Owing to the considerable attention this article has received from CBC Radio’s Cross Country Check Up, the National Post and the Globe and Mail, among other publications, EV has been liaising with the media and other organizations/individuals to respond to the overall claims this study makes.

Further, several notable individuals from Canada and beyond have also provided diverse perspectives on the study and you can read them here.

We at EV believe that it is important to share our analysis with you, our valued members and supporters, so that you too can dispel any notion that women do not care about politics or being politically active.

The study in question measured a very specific kind of political knowledge which speaks to how women and men consume hard news, not whether they are paying attention to and/or engaged in the political process.   In the words of EV’s National Chair, Raylene Lang-Dion, “What does measuring who-knows-the-name-of-a-president in a certain country have to do with making a contribution to your country either for men or women.  Politics is about participating in our democracy, making your contribution to society and electing more women to be fairly represented at the political decision-making table. Women have been and will be there in spades!”



Elections Canada has documented that women are voting in higher numbers than men.

Reporting on voting patterns after the 2011 federal election, they indicated:

“Looking at differences between men and women, for the 2011 general election women participated at a higher rate (59.6%) than men (57.3%), and this was true across all age groups up to age 64, where men started participating more than women. This is the same pattern seen in the previous election in 2008.”  



Equal Voice has tracked the number of female candidates in every federal election and several provincial elections for the past 7 years. We also actively work with the major political parties at the national level to encourage them to make public commitments to running a higher number of women.   – In the last 2 federal elections, there has been a notable increase in the percentage of women candidates.  In the 2011 federal election, women comprised just under 30 percent (28.5 %) of all candidates, up from 23 percent in 2006.

– Using the data from the five major parties in Canada only, women actually comprised over 30 PERCENT of the total number of candidates from these parties in the 2011 federal elections (29 percent in 2008).



Obviously, the fact that we have six female premiers is extremely encouraging for women’s participation overall in politics. It enables younger and older women alike to feel a larger investment in politics when they see and hear from female leaders who look and sound like them.   At the same time, a number of provinces and territories recently broke new ground by attaining more than 30 percent women in their legislatures. These are the Yukon, Quebec, and most recently British Columbia which now has 35 percent women elected, the highest in Canada.  Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta are very close (upper 20s percentage wise).

Clearly, all of this information suggests that women are connected to politics, are motivated to participate through voting, community involvement, seeking election, and supporting other women to get on the ballot. Equal Voice will not stop its work until women represent 50 percent of Canada’s parliament as well as every legislature, municipal and band council across the country!

For more information about Equal Voice, check out our new campaign, Be Her, Support Her, Celebrate Her.

For more information about this study or to obtain a comment or quote from EV, please contact EV’s official spokepersons:

Raylene Lang-Dion National Chair 613-355-3428

Nancy Peckford Executve Director 613-292-7941

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