Equal Voice is a multi-partisan organization committed to getting more women elected into politics. In conjunction with many sponsors, including the Government of Canada, they put on an event called Daughters of the Vote, to celebrate 100 years of some women having the right to vote. This falls in line with Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
I applied for Daughters of the Vote to represent my home riding of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam in British Columbia. I received my acceptance and was beyond thrilled.
More than 335 delegates across Canada had this amazing opportunity. They all came from different political beliefs, but one of the things that stood out to me was the amount of support and positivity that radiated throughout the entire four-day experience.
The first day we participated in panel discussions concerning policy issues. We were able to hear from experts in the fields and ask questions that pertained to our specific ridings. The second day was International Women’s Day, where we took our seats. The last day we participated in leadership panels discussing skill building.
Throughout the event, we heard from a variety of different politicians. Ministers Maryam Monsef, Catherine McKenna and Karina Gould, specifically, stood out as significant in my experience. It was inspiring to see these young women who are a part of the first gender balanced Cabinet in Canada.
On Mar. 8, the most significant, inspiring and empowering day of my life to date, 338 female delegates marched to Parliament Hill and historically took their seats in the House of Commons. To date, only 315 women have been federally elected to the House. Many women spoke of issues pertaining to their home ridings, and the amount of love and support and passion shown from all was tear-jerking.
I am so honoured to have been a part of this event. It was magnificent looking around the House and seeing the diversity that truly represents Canada. It was touching and moving and greatly contrasted when we sat in on Question Period, as that level of diversity was not present among our actual elected representatives.
Canada has a long way to go, but this is a step in the right direction. Networking with these amazing women and seeing the passion, support and diversity inspires me to fight for a more diverse, equal future, and I hope all will join me on this journey. The best thing we can do as citizens is to seek knowledge, expect equality and accept diversity.
Aman Kular, second-year student
School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities, and Political Science