Stephen Harper’s Chronic “Women Problem”

by: Obert Madondo | Twitter: @Obiemad:

Stephen Harper. (Photo: Remy Steinegger)

Stephen Harper. (Photo: Remy Steinegger)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is no friend of Canadian women. His new cabinet betrays both his chronic “women problem” and reluctance to put a progressive face on Ottawa.

The authorities are at war with women in this country.

Since Harper came to power in 2006, the percentage of government positions held by women has fallen to less than 32.5 per cent. Then the infamous treatment of Belinda Stronach and former female Tory cabinet ministers, Helena Guergis and Lisa Raitt.

Canadians expressed their progressive wish during the May 2 Federal election, electing a record 76 women to the 308-member House of Commons.

Harper’s new cabinet includes only 10 women out of 39 cabinet ministers. That’s only 25.6 percent. It’s something to be ashamed of, really. Consider this fact from the Globe and Mail:

Canada remains 52nd in the world when it comes to female representation in political office, and it’s falling further behind as other countries take more aggressive measures to even out the gender balance.

Maybe Harper just loves the number 10? His outgoing 38-member cabinet had 10 women.

But that’s not all. The high-profile portfolios of Defence, Finance, Justice and Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Treasury Board, Environment, etc, are still the preserve of men.

And as in the past, women were relegated to the “soft” portfolios of health and social services. Public Works, Government Services, Status of Women, Human Resources and Skills Development, to name a few, went to women.

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad