In Québec, as of the election on December 8, 2008, around thirty percent of MNAs are women. In fact, women have not been a part of Québec’s political landscape for long. Marie-Claire Kirkland was the first woman to win a seat in the National Assembly, and that was not until December 14, 1961. She was the lone female voice among hundreds of men for 12 years until she left politics in 1973, at which time Lise Bacon was elected. In 1976, Ms Bacon was re-elected, and four new women also won seats, under the Parti Québécois banner: Lise Payette, Louise Sauvé Cuerrier, Jocelyne Ouellet and Denise Leblanc-Bantey. In the Fall of 2012 a statue on the grounds of the National Assembly will honour all women in political life.
The role of women in politics is a subject that comes up often during elections. How many women are running? What do they do? Do they approach politics differently than men? Do they truly represent women’s interests? There are so many good questions being asked that we often forget that the fight for equality in politics is not yet won. There is still room for many more women in the political world, which has favoured men for far too long. As of October 31, 2011, only 19.5% of people elected to parliaments around the world were women.