(Updated April 22, 2015: Green Party additional candidates)
According to the 2011 census, Prince Edward Island is made up of 48% men and 52% women. One would expect, then, that political parties would seek to run approximately equal numbers of men and women across the 27 provincial electoral districts. All parties have now published the lists of candidates nominated for the 2015 provincial general election:
According to the PEI Coalition for Women in Government, 22.2% of MLAs are women, slightly under the national average of 24.7%.
The Coalition’s 2005 Action Plan to Elect Women in PEI set an initial goal of electing a critical mass of 33.3% women in the following provincial election, pushing on to elect 50% women by 2015. In this first phase, the Coalition says, they were “successful in garnering public commitments from all four provincial parties active at the time that they work towards the goal of nominating at least 9 women (33% of candidates) in provincial elections.”
I’m not a stranger to gender issues in democratic organizations: the organization I lead, the PEI Home and School Federation, is a broadly-based one, rooted in 53 member associations in local schools. The presidents of an overwhelming majority of those locals are women, and our provincial board is 73% woman and 27% men. This all despite our work to include more men in home and school.
Balanced gender representation in our public institutions is something we all need to work harder at.