In the wake of the incident in Grande Prairie, Alberta, last week when Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was harassed in an assaultive manner, Equal Voice condemns this behavior and underlines it is important to take intimidation and threats against politicians seriously. This is particularly so for women in politics. The sad reality is, that women face misogyny, gendered threats and harassment when they serve in politics. Women with intersectional identities also face racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. This behaviour is unacceptable and we all have a role in calling it out.
Harassment and intimidation impact current women politicians, and also deters women from entering politics. A public opinion survey conducted by Equal Voice earlier this year demonstrated that:
- 65% of young women were worried about the physical safety concerns they could face if they ran for office.
- Additionally, 73% were concerned about online harassment (figures from https://equalvoice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Equal-Voice-Jan-2022-TC-3.pdf).“This incident highlights vitriolic and threatening behaviour, designed the threaten and intimidate one of Canada’s highest office holders. This is wrong and we condemn it,” states Eleanor Fast, Executive Director of Equal Voice. “It is time for the political environment to become safer for women in government at all levels.”
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.