In Pursuit of Women’s Representation: A Pragmatic Approach to Improving Women’s Representation in Canadian Politics

  • Andrew Buys University of Alberta
Keywords: Canada, Parliament, Gender, Gender Representation


This essay addresses the democratic deficit in women's representation in Canadian politics that hinders the access of all citizens in Canada to free, equal, and meaningful opportunities to engage in all levels of political affairs. In doing so, a number of socio-cultural and structural barriers to women's participation in federal politics are identified. In turn, strategies to overcome these barriers are presented while making effort to tackle the conditions underlying women’s misrepresentation, as opposed to promoting explicitly compulsory solutions such as affirmative action legislation. The purpose of my research is to guide Canadian policy structures and social standards toward a new paradigm in Canadian politics where women are liberated from having to face the tension between the implications of their status as the 'other' and their desire to meaningfully contribute to the political affairs of the Canadian state.