I visited Ottawa for the first time when I was about nine years old. I remember touring the Centre Block of Parliament, where many of the government’s daily operations take place. After that visit, I seriously considered becoming a Member of Parliament (MP). I craved the idea of standing in the House of Commons and representing my riding. I wanted to engage in debates and discussions about our country’s problems. I romanticized the idea of politics, looking at it through rose-coloured glasses.
As I’ve become more informed about various governments, I’ve also noticed the lack of equal representation in legislatures around the world. The ratio of males to females is quite large – in this day and age, it’s simply not acceptable. Women have the power to influence policy decisions, impact elections and bring forth innovative solutions to solve their countries’ problems. It’s the stigma associated with female politicians that is preventing them from getting involved.
Throughout history, women have also been viewed as second-class citizens with virtually no rights, including the right to vote. As a result, men have always been at the forefront of politics. Presidents, members of parliament, voters…each group used to be completely dominated by males. So imagine their surprise and horror when women publicly decided to take a stand and make their voices heard.
As a feminist, the idea of female politicians is one that is powerful and impactful. I’m tired of men thinking that they can simply make decisions in their own interests. I’m tired of the fact that women are criticized for running in elections. Most of all, I’m tired that this issue is even still being discussed.
While my career aspirations don’t involve living a life in the public sphere, I will still get behind all women who decide to run for office, regardless of their political views. Simply putting one’s name forward is enough to inspire others to get involved. Whether it’s representing a constituency in parliament or even participating in a local town hall meeting, women are finding new ways to break the political glass ceiling.