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In response to the unbalanced representation of women in elected public office, and acknowledging the relevance of gender balance and the diversity of perspectives it brings, several initiatives were created in Canada and worldwide.

UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, supports gender equality advocates in calling on political parties, governments and others to do their part in empowering women. It also develops initiatives to encourage young men and women to engage in advocacy around making gender equality measures central to public policymaking. The Millennium Development Goals measure progress towards gender equality in part by the proportion of women in parliamentary seats.

In Canada, an initiative called Daughters of the Vote was named by CTV News as one of “2017’s Most Memorable Moment in the House of Commons” and earned widespread national and international media attention as 338 young women took their seats in the House of Commons on International Women’s Day to mark 100 years since some women obtained the right to vote. 

A Daughters of the Vote (DOV) event, organized by Equal Voice Canada, takes place in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick) 

In anticipation of the 2019 Alberta provincial election, a live dashboard is tracking the gender distribution among party candidates who are seeking nominations, as well as those who have been nominated to run. The online tool was developed by Parity YEG, a non-profit group aiming for gender parity in politics, in collaboration with Dave Cournoyer of political blog, and can be accessed at their website.

More resources can be found on the links below.