Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Not Up For Debate

I see that the scheduled debate on women's issues by the leaders of the federal parties has been cancelled. It seems that the September 21st event, which was meant to be broadcast live, has suffered from the domino effect. Prime Minister Harper decided not to participate. Mr. Mulcair withdrew because he won't take part in a debate without Harper. The other leaders concluded that there wasn't any point without these two. As a result the coalition of women's groups called Up for Debate will have to find other avenues to get a sense of where the parties stand on aspects of this important discussion.

Are any of you disappointed that this has transpired? We know that Canada is a wonderful country for women in many respects. We regularly score in the top ten nations of the world in terms of women's rights, education, healthcare. In some surveys we are at the top of the list for G20 countries.
Still, women in Canada make about two thirds of what men make in the workplace. We don't do as well as other advanced nations as far as women leading corporations or being elected to public office. Domestic violence and sexism remain as ugly realities. And an issue which might have been prominent in the debate is the lack of response to the disappearance of more than a thousand aboriginal women over the past thirty years. There is no national strategy for addressing this grim statistic.
Religious institutions have too often supported misogyny and the subjugation of women. Women have been excluded from leadership because of gender, not merit. Our United Church has worked to address and counteract this, finding ways to open our eyes to the gifts and strengths of women. You may have noticed that our newly elected moderator, Jordan Cantwell, is a woman. We certainly can't claim to have arrived, just the same.
I hope the UCC will express regret about the cancellation of this debate and challenge leaders to make their positions clear on women's issues. The importance of this discussion is not up for debate.


Frank said...

Debates are organized to engage and inform the electorate, which are centred on certain themes. The Harper conservatives will walk away from taking the heat whenever it suits them. As evidence let's not forget their proroguing parliament twice already: firstly to avoid loosing the confidence of the house, and secondly to shut down the committee investigation into the Afghan detainee issue.
I would hope that women take note that certain leaders would rather play politics than engage on issues of importance to them.

David Mundy said...

I hope the same Frank. Thank you for your thoughtful addition to my blog entry.