…let me reiterate that. It’s about damn time. Today, not only did we see the swearing in of a new Prime Minister, but we also saw the swearing in of a gender-equal cabinet of Ministers. Hallelujah!
I don’t say hallelujah simply because I am a woman. I say it because statistically women are underrepresented in politics around the world – and I don’t think there’s any justifiable reason. According to UNWomen, although there has been a great increase of women in politics over the past twenty years, the numbers are still startlingly low.
Upon Justin Trudeau announcing that he would be selecting a cabinet comprised of 50% women, there were a number of naysayers that preached about “meritocracy”. They argued that positions should be selected based on merit, not based on gender. I completely agree. That’s why it has been so frustrating to see talented, female politicians passed over, time and time again for their male counterparts. Whether these individuals admit it or not, there is a history of patriarchy that is deeply ingrained within politics, and Justin Trudeau’s cabinet has put an end to it.
Personally, I’m all for meritocracy – but meritocracy that is not blinded by gender, race or anything else. We live in a country that is celebrated for its belief in equal rights for all. And for the first time that sentiment of equality is visually represented by the Ministers who make up our government. Here’s to you, Mr. Trudeau, for breaking down a barrier that has been in place for so long. Here’s to you for allowing me to see, in a real way, that you stand behind the values our country believes in. Here’s to you for providing young girls across the country 15 new role models to look up to. It’s about damn time.