Fewer than one-third of federal candidates in Manitoba are women
30% of candidates running in province women, according to Elections Canada
The deadline to register candidates in the federal election comes to a close today, and fewer than one-third of the candidates running in Manitoba are women.
Seventeen out of the 59 Manitoba candidates registered with Elections Canada are female — down slightly compared to the 2011 election, which saw 22 female candidates.
Voters in Winnipeg told CBC News the numbers weren't surprising.
"It's just sad," said Colleen Levasseur, a first-year student at the University of Winnipeg.
"It's kind of always regarded as a male role.... You don't really get encouragement to be a political leader when you see that there's only actually one leader, female leader, of a party," she said, referring to Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
Adam Scarf, another voter in Winnipeg, agreed women are underrepresented in Canadian politics.
"It's not surprising. I'm coming from an academic background and the representation of women in my discipline, philosophy, is probably less than that," Scarf said.
"I think more should be done on this issue to be able to adequately represent the Canadian population, because this is 50-50."
'Barriers' for women in politics: expert
Karine Levasseur, who teaches gender and politics at the University of Manitoba, said by comparison, female representation in the upcoming election in Manitoba and Canada — approximately one in three candidates — is encouraging.
"The United Nations has identified 30 per cent as the critical representation threshold for representation by women to be effective," said Levasseur.
"We certainly have had some better rates than the United States, but we're certainly behind other countries, notably Sweden, which is usually running anywhere about the 50 per cent mark."
In Canada, the barriers to women entering politics are wide-ranging, Levasseur said, pointing to stereotypes and lack of support when it comes to child care.
"I think it's going to take a multifaceted approach that will have to include political parties first and foremost, because they are the ones that are heavily involved in the recruitment of candidates and nominations. And it will certainly involve all of us reaching out and identifying our own bias in this and encouraging women to run."
In 2011, a record number of women (76 in total) were voted into the House of Commons. Levasseur said she expects the number of women elected in 2015 to hover around the same.
"As optimistic as I am that there are a good percentage of women running in this election, it really will matter what happens on Oct. 19."
Female candidates registered in Manitoba
- Niki Ashton, NDP
- Joyce Batemen, Conservative
- Candice Bergen, Conservative
- Rebecca Chartrand, Liberal
- Deborah Chief, NDP
- Beverley Eert, Green
- Brianne, Goertzen, NDP
- Suzanne Hrynyk, NDP
- Joanne Levy, Liberal
- MaryAnn Mihychuk, Liberal
- Kim Parke, Green
- Andrea Richardson-Lipon, Liberal
- Erin Selby, NDP
- Kate Storey, Green
- Allie Szarkiewicz, Conservative
- Melissa Joy Wastasecoot, NDP
- Jodi Wyman, Liberal
- As of 11:45 a.m. CT, there were 59 candidates in Manitoba registered with Elections Canada. An earlier version of this story stated 57 candidates were registered which was correct when it was first published. A final list of registered candidates becomes available Wednesday.Sep 28, 2015 11:47 AM CT