Politics

Daughters of the Vote meet in Halifax

Young women from across Nova Scotia met at Province House to discuss the future of women in politics

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Today at Province House, about 30 women celebrated the fact that 2017 is the 100-year anniversary  of the women’s suffrage movement in Canada — although many women said that there is still a long way to go.

The event was co-ordinated through Daughters of the Vote, an initiative that advocates for women in politics.

The event brought together one young woman from each of the ridings in Nova Scotia. Sarah Dobson, 21, was there for Halifax West. She told The Signal that she is concerned that women are underrepresented in most levels of government.

“Women, when they do put themselves forward to get elected, are a lot more likely to come under certain types of scrutiny,” she said.

Dobson’s sentiments were echoed by several speakers at the event.

“Out of 16 voices, we have two women in HRM, the biggest municipality in Nova Scotia,” said Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Community Services. “We have one woman elected federally; that is not good enough.”

Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, the first African-Nova Scotian woman to become a senator also spoke during the event. She told the crowd that part of their responsibility, as female politicians of the future, was to “do the walk with other women” and empower each other.

Senator Bernard also urged those in attendance to “make sure diversity is a central part of your commitment to the fight for change, not an add on.”

Dobson, a political science student at Dalhousie University, said she was inspired by the event. She called it an “opportunity for young women from Halifax to connect to other women who are forging the path forward for women in politics.”

Daughters of the Vote is run by Equal Voice, a multi-partisan feminist organization based out of Toronto. They will have similar events in other provinces throughout January and February, culminating in a federal event in Ottawa in March. At that time, young women are expected to take the seats for their ridings on Parliament Hill, and continue the discussion of women’s future in politics.