With the results of the federal election now final, today Equal Voice is releasing a full analysis of the women elected across the country, including a breakdown by party and by each province and territory. Overall, in the most recent federal election, Canadians elected a total of 102 women to the House of Commons. This is a slight increase from the 98 women elected after the 2019 general election and brings the percentage of women elected federally from 29% to 30%.
“Equal Voice is pleased to see that over one hundred ridings will be represented by women, marking the highest number of women ever to be elected at the federal level,” said Eleanor Fast, Equal Voice’s Executive Director. “While the difference of women elected between the 2019 and 2021 federal election is a small increase, this does set a new milestone for women elected in the House of Commons with a total of 30% of all MPs now being women.”
Unfortunately, even with this small increase, Canada’s ranking in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) global rankings of women in national parliaments will actually go down to 58th from the 55th place that was attained following the last federal election. Canada’s global ranking actually decreasing even as a few more women are elected to the House of Commons shows clearly how Canada is not moving fast enough to increase the representation of women in Parliament.
Looking across the numbers by party, most of the party caucuses will also see slight increases to the women within their own teams in the House of Commons. The Liberal party increases the women in their caucus from 33% to 35%, the Conservative team will be move from 18% to 19% women, and the New Democratic Party will increase the women in their caucus from 37.5% to 44% overall. The Bloc Québécois and the Green party see slight decreases in the women in their caucuses. The Bloc Québécois team will include 36% women rather than the 37.5% they had after 2019, and one of two Green MPs (or 50%) is a woman compared to the two out of three (or 66%) that the party elected in 2019.
Many of the provinces and territories are also sending the same numbers of women back to the House of Commons to represent their region. A few provinces are seeing increases in the women representing their region, such as Ontario increasing from 38 to 44-woman MPs. Both Québec and Newfoundland & Labrador are also adding one more woman MP from 2019 with totals of 27 and three respectively, from each province. A few provinces decreased the number of women representing their areas as well, with British Columbia now having 11 rather than 14-woman MPs and Nova Scotia having only one-woman MP instead of two.
Another direct consistency between the 2019 and 2021 federal election is between the percentage of women candidates who stood for election and those who were actually elected. This year, 43% of candidates across the major parties were women or gender diverse people which compares closely with the 42% of women and gender diverse candidates in 2019. As a result, 30% of these candidates actually being elected compares closely to the 29% seen in 2019, showing that at least one part of electing more women overall is ensuring that all parties nominate more women and gender diverse candidates from the beginning of the nomination process.
“In 2021 we are marking the 100th anniversary of the first woman MP being elected to the House of Commons and we are pleased to see that the largest number of women ever elected federally will be seated in the House this year to mark this historic anniversary,” stated Bakopanos, Equal Voice’s chair. “However, the fact that it has taken 100 years to elect over a hundred women MPs also shows us how much faster Canada needs to move forward and elect more women in order to achieve gender parity.”
Beyond this election, Equal Voice remains focused on striving to move towards gender parity in Canadian politics. Equal Voice looks forward to working with all political parties, partners, and women and gender diverse people across Canada to achieve this ultimate goal in future elections, at all levels of government across Canada.
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Founded in 2001, Equal Voice is a national, bilingual, multi-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.