Peggy Nash is a former NDP MP and is currently a visiting professor at Ryerson University in the field of women’s leadership. She is a frequent media commentator and an international speaker on women’s rights and democratic engagement. Prior to her first election in 2006, she was a senior labour negotiator. She was named a YWCA Woman of Distinction and is a founding member of the multi-partisan organization Equal Voice.
Women to Win: Feminisms and Political Power
1. Intro – Invited to work with women in around the world who are striving for a greater political voice.
2. North America: Not a role model – society driving with a foot on the brake when it comes to women’s equality
- Current economic status of women
- Current representation of women in politics
- Barriers to participation: stereotypes, violence, childcare, funding
3. Paradigm Shift – Our notions of leadership are changing.
A. Old style
- Strong male leader; self-made man; white, male, older
- Feminism usually meant middle class white women, foot in the door, only room for one of us.
- Mediated by mainstream media
B. New style: “to be black and female in a society that is both racist and sexist is to be in the unique position of having nowhere to go but up,” R Brown
- Feminisms: diverse, more collective vs self-made
- More confident and impatient; organizers and community leaders
- Social media savvy
4. Women to win
- Trump: women’s march
- US mid-terms: who got elected
- Toronto: women to win
Those who have been most excluded from the political process by the old paradigms of male power and mainstream feminism are becoming the new voice and energy of a new generation that is insisting on leading.
Their time has come.
Rosemary Brown: Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it.