Women and Power The Case for Parity

Pascale Navarro

September 2016

An LLP Singles Essay.
It is already passé to ask if parity is important for today’s Canada. What’s needed now is to ask how we can make sure more women run for office and that they’re well-represented in government. There are no easy answers to this, but it’s clear that half-measures just won’t do. Pascale Navarro argues that quotas are essential for women to achieve parity with men in politics. Over a hundred other nations worldwide have already established parity as a goal. What are we waiting for?

Pascale Navarro is winner of the 2016 Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.



Montreal journalist and columnist Pascale Navarro is a frequent contributor to major newspapers and magazines as well as to radio and television broadcasts. Winner of the Women of Merit prize for Communications in 2007, she is the author of several feminist essays on contemporary social and political issues. In November, 2016, she won the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Women and Power is the first of her books to appear in English.
[Photo: Louise Savoie]


David Homel is an award-winning novelist and translator of novels. He has won the Governor General's Award twice for translation. He has also worked as a filmmaker, journalist, and teacher. His most recent novel is The Fledglings (Cormorant, 2014).

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What they say
impressive amount of information

The Politics of Representation
Women and Power packs an impressive amount of information into a few pages, serving as an astute update on the issue of gender parity in Quebec and Canada. But beyond just taking stock, the book advances an appealing vision. Inviting “more of the feminine” into the halls of power, Navarro specifies that this isn’t just about making room for women in an established space; it’s about creating a new space that incorporates both women’s and men’s points of view.
Montreal Review of Books

Quebec journalist's case for gender parity should be read by all Canadians 
Despite institutionalized sexism and countless seen and unseen factors that come into play to prevent and dissuade women from participating fully in the democratic process, some people, naively or optimistically, feel that things will eventually just fall into place. If that were the case, suffragettes would still be waiting for the right to vote.

Gender parity in all fields is a vital step for women to achieve true equality, for democracy to truly be representative of all, and for the world’s largest untapped resource to finally be harnessed for everyone’s gain. I’ve written about the need for gender parity before, in creative fields and in the House of Commons, where progress is slow and sometimes purely symbolic, but still headed in the right direction. It’s a subject that continues to elicit doubt and fear because its political pursuit often raises more questions than it does answers." 
Toula Drimonis, Ricochet

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