Because it’s 2016

23 Mar 2016

From The VoteKit crew |

“Women are half of the world’s population, and as such their voice should be heard in the democratic process. Democracy needs women in order to be truly democratic, and women need democracy if they are to change the systems and laws that preclude them, and preclude them, and preclude societies as a whole, from attaining equality” according to the United Nations. And yet, even though the percentage of women in parliaments around the world has doubled in the last 20 years, that translates to only 22% women in parliaments worldwide today. In Canada we have reason to celebrate such recent milestones as gender parity in cabinet postings provincially here in Alberta and federally in Ottawa, yet Canadian women make up only 25% of elected officials in municipal, provincial and federal government.

Clearly, we have work to do to reach gender parity in Canada.

That’s where the Canadian-made documentary 25% comes in. Produced by the City of London, Ontario as part of their participation in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Head Start for Young Women program and with funding from Status of Women Canada, 25% presents interviews with elected representatives as well as journalists, candidates, administrators, educators and students.  Their viewpoints on the challenges women face getting elected and serving as elected representatives as well as their ideas about how to encourage more women to run is fascinating and provocative. And it makes for a great kickstart to a conversation that needs to be happening across the country if we’re to reach a commonly recognized tipping point of 30% women in government and, ultimately, gender parity municipally, provincially and federally in Canada.

So, what can you do to move that conversation along and participate in a movement for gender parity nationwide? First and foremost, watch the 25% documentary. But don’t stop there: take it one step further and invite a group of family members, friends, colleagues to watch 25% with you and see where the discussion leads. It’s easy! Download our one-pager How to Hold a 25% Documentary Screening right here. Pick up some snacks. Invite some friends. Hit play and see what happens next.

How to Hold a 25% Documentary Screening includes simple tips for organizing a living room screening as well as a list of great discussion questions created by Calgary’s Community Development Learning Initiative for their recent monthly meetup. CDLI tells us that not only was the discussion lively following their own screening of 25% but participants rose to the challenge and committed to holding their own living room screenings and conversations. Will you join them?

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