Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Women's Issues Missing from Election Campaign

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Women's Issues Missing from Election Campaign

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Women's issues missing from election campaign

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Sept. 21:

More than half way through the election campaign, issues of specific interest to women have yet to hit the radar of the three major party leaders.

It's not clear why women's issues are so invisible since half a million more women than men cast a ballot in the last election.

But it is shameful.

As Green Party Leader Elizabeth May tweeted during Thursday night's televised leaders' debate on the economy (one she wasn't invited to): "Missing in this discussion? Women's issues."

Indeed, they were also missing during the only other televised leaders' debate, so far, causing Kelly Bowden of Oxfam Canada to note: "The word 'woman' was only mentioned four times, and there was no discussion of women's rights or gender equality."

Happily, those issues will finally get some atttention on Monday evening when a panel on gender justice and equality called Up for Debate at Toronto's Isabel Bader Theatre livestreams in both official languages on the websites of the Toronto Star and Le Devoir. It will be broadcast live on Twitter Canada's Periscope.

It's true that it's not the nationally televised leaders' debate on women's issues that more than 175 organizations had lobbied for. That was torpedoed when Conservative Leader Stephen Harper disgracefully refused to participate, leading the NDP's Thomas Mulcair, who had earlier agreed to take part, to drop out too.

Still, the organizers of Up for Debate, Oxfam Canada and the Alliance for Women's Rights, will shine a spotlight on issues of specific interest to women in two ways.

First, the program will feature recorded interviews with May, Mulcair, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe. (Harper again refused to take part.) Second, it will include two panels of women in the fields of media and social justice who will debate the leaders' positions.

Among the "asks" the organizers made of party leaders:

To address the root causes of violence against women in Canada. …

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