Creating a gender sensitive Parliament with Dr. Ashe
Part one of Libby Davies' conversation with political scientist Dr. Jeanette Ashe.
Uploaded: 21 Jan, 2022
Recording Date: 21 Jan, 2022
Recording Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Topical for: 1 Month
Status: Complete, Ready to Air
Copyright: rabble radio 2022
Program Title: Creating a gender sensitive Parliament with Dr. Ashe
Description: This week we talk about why hazard pay isn’t enough for our front-line workers in grocery stores. We’ll also mark the passing of former NDP leader, Alexa McDonough. Karl Nerenberg and Monia Mazigh share their stories of Alexa. We’ll check in all that and more, a bit later on in our show.
First, rabble contributor and former NDP Deputy Leader and House Leader, Libby Davies, interviews political scientist Dr. Jeanette Ashe.
In part one of this special two-part series, Davies and Dr. Ashe delved into the question of what a gender-sensitive parliament would look like. They take on topics of the gender-based heckling that takes place among elected representatives in our government, and how COVID-19 has affected women in politics.
Dr. Ashe is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Douglas College. She’s also a Visiting Faculty at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, King’s College, London. Her research interests include political recruitment, political parties, representation, and gender and politics. She is the author of Political Candidate Selection: Who Wins, Who Loses and Under-representation in the UK. Other recent publications include Gender Sensitivity Under Trudeau: Facebook Feminism or Real Change?, and Canada’s Political Parties: Gatekeepers to Parliament . Dr. Ashe advises legislatures, parties, and organizations on assessing gender and diversity sensitivity. She also advises legislators on drafting legislation on gender equity and democratic reform.
Libby Davies is the author of Outside In: a Political Memoir. She served as the MP for Vancouver East from 1997-2015, and is former NDP Deputy Leader and House Leader. Libby’s also is recipient of the Order of Canada.
Here are Libby and Jeanette in conversation, in part one of our two part special.
Take a listen: (interview – 22 mins)
That was Dr. Jeanette Ashe in conversation with Libby Davies. Join us again next week when we’ll hear part two of that conversation. Thanks for that, Dr. Ashe and Libby. Looking forward to it.
Now, it's time for a segment we like to call, In Case You Missed It.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.
This week rabble remembers Alexa McDonough. McDonough was Canada’s first woman to lead a major political party when she was elected the Nova Scotia New Democratic in 1980. She passed away on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at the age of 77.
Monia Mazigh was a close friend of McDonough. In her column, recalls how Alexa McDonough stood by her when her husband, Maher Arar, was held in US custody for two weeks after a family vacation in Tunis. Mazigh recalls McDonough standing against injustice when the Canadian government became complicit with the American authorities. The Americans had rendered her husband to Syria – a country he had not called home since he was 17 years old.
Mazigh writes: “Alexa was not intimidated by the whispers that warned her my husband was a “hot potato.” She stood with me and remained faithful to her principles of social justice and human rights. In 2003, my husband came home after spending more than a year in prison where he was never charged with any crime and endured torture. Upon his return, Alexa continued to be a pillar in our road towards justice.”
Karl Nerenberg shares a history of some of the highs and lows of McDonough’s political career. He praises her as single-handedly re-building the NDP’s presence in the Maritimes. There she established the party as a force for social justice and positive change on the national scene. That paved the way for her NDP successor, Jack Layton.
Nerenberg observes: “Keeping the movement alive and relevant during its darkest hour might, indeed, be Alexa’s greatest legacy.”
Also this week on the site, Stephen Wentzell criticizes grocery store CEOs reaping record profits while their grocery store workers remain among the lowest paid workers in Canada. Grocery chains in our country instituted hazard pay for a brief moment at the outset of the pandemic two years ago. But now, workers are back to unsafe conditions, minimum wage, and, often, with little or no paid sick leave.
Wentzell writes that, even with a so-called “hazard pay” pay increase, it still leaves many low-income Canadians far from a livable wage.
Lisa Cameron, writer and organizer with the Halifax Workers’ Action Centre, tells rabble.ca that workers have devoted themselves “tirelessly” to their frontline work, while being both “underpaid and unappreciated.”
“Major grocery chains should recognize the risks undertaken by their employees and compensate them accordingly,” Cameron says. “Even if these grocery chains reintroduce hazard pay for their employees, the fact remains that the minimum wage is too low across the country.”
Cameron adds that governments can’t keep trusting employers to do the right thing when it comes to paid sick days, livable wages, and access to health and dental coverage. “These aren’t decisions that we ought to leave in the hands of employers. These are decisions that ought to be determined by law,” Cameron says.
The last thing I’d like to leave you with today is this: rabble's annual fundraiser is on the go and we are looking for indie media heroes! Is that you? Please consider making a donation at rabble.ca/donate. The generous support from our readers is what makes it possible for quality journalism to support transformative political action.
Host(s): Breanne Doyle
Featured Speakers/Guests: Libby Davies - interviewer Jeanette Ashe - interviewee
Credits: Breanne Doyle - host, producer, editor
Kim Elliott - publisher
Libby Davies - guest interviewer
Dr. Jeanette Ashe - guest interviewee
Stephen Wentzell and Karl Nerenberg - reporters
Karl Nerenberg - music
Politics > FeminismType: News Reports