Women, Power, Politics: The Hidden Story of Canada's Unfinished Democracy

Paperback
Women's participation in politics matters very much. Yet in Canada, women MPs have been stuck at a level of roughly one-fifth since 1993. Although we may believe women are making progress, their representation in politics seems decidedly stalled. So it comes as no surprise that we hear little about issues of particular interest to women-breast cancer, violence against women, or the poverty of single mothers. In this engaging, no-nonsense, and witty book, Sylvia Baskevkin argues that Canadians have a profound unease with women in positions of political authority-what she calls the women plus power equals discomfort equation. She explores the specific reasons why this discomfort is particularly severe in Canada. Bashevkin also evaluates a range of barriers faced by women who enter politics, including the media's role in assessing the leadership styles, personal appearances, and private lives of female politicians. In clear, accessible terms, Bashevkin explains concepts such as gender schemas and media framing in terms of key examples, such as Belinda Stronach and Hillary Clinton. Finally, Bashevkin outlines some compelling solutions to address the stalemate facing women in Canadian politics.