Gender Up! The good, the bad and the complicated on gender quotas in politics

Gender quotas — in some form or another — exist in the political structures of countries from Rwanda to Sweden. But the word alone seems to make many Canadians wince — why?

There’s a prevailing notion that “good” candidates shouldn’t need a quota to get elected.

In this episode, University of Calgary political scientist Melanee Thomas talks about why she disagrees with that idea. She breaks down what academic research says about the effect on politics in countries where gender quotas have been implemented. And she talks about where Canada’s political parties stand on the issue.

Thomas also talks about gender quotas in the context of her own research, that found 15 to 20 per cent of Americans AND Canadians hold sexist views about women in politics (such as the idea that women are either too emotional or too nice to be in politics).

Our conversation with Melanee Thomas starts at the 5:50 mark of this podcast.

Also in this episode, we talk about Premier Rachel Notley’s message to Muslims at the end of Ramadan…somehow, it sparked the need to point out, once again, that women can wear whatever they want.

 

Further reading on quotas:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/merit-vs-equality-argument/

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2017/03/13/gender-quotas-and-the-crisis-of-the-mediocre-man/

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/gender-quotas-do-not-pose-a-threat-to-merit-at-any-stage-of-the-political-process/

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