Panel, campaign school unpack gender parity in politics

Social Sciences

Women Leading Change in Politics panelists include (clockwise from top left) Jody Wilson-Raybould, Rachael Segal, Grace Lore, Niki Sharma and Mary Polak.

According to the United Nations, women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. However, UN data shows that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making worldwide; for example, only 30.5 per cent of Ottawa parliamentarians are women.

The University of Victoria and Equal Voice have partnered to host two events designed to address gender disparities in political leadership. Women Leading Change in Politics brings together inspiring leaders together with the community to share stories of leading change in politics as well as provide tools for change.

On Monday, Feb. 26, the Women Leading Change panel discussion will delve into the experiences of extraordinary women who have not only held public office but have also made significant contributions to the political landscape.

“Our hope is this event inspires more young people, especially women, to pursue political leadership.”

- Lois Harder, UVic Faculty of Social Sciences dean, Political Science professor, and panel host

Panelists include:

  • BC Minister of Children and Family Development Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill
  • Panel moderator Mary Polak, former BC Cabinet minister and MLA for Langley
  • BC Attorney General Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings
  • Rachael Segal, CEO of Beyond a Ballot
  • Jody Wilson-Raybould, former federal Cabinet minister and MP for Vancouver-Granville

Complimenting the panel, Equal Voice will facilitate a Campaign School on Sunday, Feb. 25 for those considering running for public office, or those interested in learning more about the process. Participants will learn about campaign motivations, raising profile, mobilizing teams, finances, fundraising and more. The Campaign School is certified by CIFAL, ensuring the UN-affiliated education equips participants with the knowledge and skills needed to address global challenges and contribute to sustainable development.

For details or to register for these events, visit


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Keywords: arts, community, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Human and Social Development, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Graduate Studies, CIFAL, business, diversity, gender, government, human rights, international, law, politics

People: Lois Harder, Rachael Segal

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