Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Political Science Women In Politics

Elect Her

Still Struggling to be Recognized as Equals

by (author) Fred Groves

Crossfield Publishing
Initial publish date
Jan 2020
Women in Politics, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12


As of the last federal election in Canada, women held 98 of the available 358 Parliamentary seats, or roughly 27%. And while these numbers have risen over the decades, it’s still a far cry from the 63% in Rwanda and 53% in Bolivia.
So why are these numbers in Canada so much lower than many other countries around the globe?
In Elect Her: Still Struggling to be Recognized as Equals, writer and journalist Fred Groves explores this issue extensively. From the birth of the suffragette movement in Canada to the results of the national 2019 election, Groves charts the progress of women’s involvement in municipal, provincial and federal politics. 
Via a repository of fascinating facts and illuminating interviews, readers will be privy to the defeats, breakthroughs, challenges, and triumphs that women face when they venture into this contentious realm long-dominated by men.

“We must open the doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through.” Rosemary Brown, Canada’s first female member of a provincial legislature. So what is it that prevents women from putting their name on the ballot and demanding an equal voice? Elect Her - Still struggling to be recognized as equals, takes an in depth look at those women who have overcome the barriers and have not only been elected but go on to have long and rewarding careers as politicians.

This grassroots book highlights the careers of those who have been Federal Opposition Leaders and Cabinet Ministers to municipal councillors who are just learning what it’s like to enter the political arena dominated by men.

Elect Her also explores women and their numerous organizations who continue to advocate for those who want a seat at the decision-making table.

About the author

Fred Groves is a life—long political junkie. He has worked as a journalist at several newspapers in Southwestern Ontario including his hometown, Essex Free Press. Author of "Rising From the Rubble: the 1980 Essex Explosion," he has a passion for history, is involved as a volunteer in his community, and believes in the phrase, "if we don't know where we came from, how do we know where we are going?"

Fred Groves' profile page

Excerpt: Elect Her: Still Struggling to be Recognized as Equals (by (author) Fred Groves)

INTRODUCTION During the process of writing this book, several people, both male and female, asked why I was so curious about women in politics. Well, sometimes you don’t have to look far for answers. In my hometown of Essex, Ontario, near the bustling, labour-heavy city of Windsor, I had the privilege to write about and ultimately befriend a woman who served as the lone female on our local municipal council for eight years. Along with other female politicians I’ve met during my journalism career path, she led me to a following biased conclusion: women make better politicians. As negotiators, they’re just as good, if not better, than their male colleagues. They have more patience and leave their egos at the door, even in the midst of a heated debate. As the ones who have to get home and take care of the children, they’re better at time management. They’re also not as prone to except the status quo and they tend to ask more questions. Former Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps quantified the sad main reason why women shy away from politics. When they’re asked to speak up, they’re immediately labeled as “nasty bitches.” Canada is one of the few countries in the world that struggles with the concept that women deserve an equal voice at the table. Contrary to the fact that women make up 52 percent of the population, they are woefully underrepresented at all levels of government. A little while back I received an editorial cartoon from one of the women I had the pleasure of interviewing. It depicted the all-male premiers of Canada at their July 2019 conference with a caption underneath trumpeting their intention to talk about “women’s issues.” Sadly, this is a common occurrence. Earlier that same year, Rachel Notley was defeated in Alberta and the number of female first ministers in the country dropped to zero. During my research for Elect Her, my on-line browsing led me to Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Neither of the prairie provinces have elected a female premier and they continue to lag behind the rest of the country when it comes to gender-parity in their legislatures. This is hard to fathom, considering that Manitoba and Alberta were instrumental in procuring women’s right to vote over 100 years ago. Women like Nellie McClung and Agnes MacPhail led the suffrage movement and their ultimate victory didn’t happen overnight. It took decades for women to get the vote, to be accepted as equals and serve in public office. We’re now in the midst of yet another revolution. If it continues, more women should be encouraged to not only run for office but become influential leaders such as Canada’s only female Prime Minister Kim Campbell, Rachel Notley, and Kathleen Wynne, just to name a few. Within these pages you’ll read about crusading organizations like Equal Voice and their “Daughters of the Vote” program, along with “No Second Chances” sponsored by Canada 2020. You’ll see how movements and events like this are attracting more and more women, and even a few men like me who want to hear 52 percent of the population has to say. To every woman I had the honour of speaking with for this book, particularly Essex Councillor Sherry Bondy, Winnipeg’s Susan Thompson, and political advocate Dr. Kate Graham, I want to say: thank you, all. You are all true leaders, and an inspiration for women who know that they have a voice.

Editorial Reviews