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Women, Power, Politics: The Hidden Story of Canada's Unfinished Democracy [Paperback]

Sylvia Bashevkin

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Book Description

April 15 2009 0195431707 978-0195431704 First Printing
Women's participation in politics matters very much. Yet in Canada, women MPs have been stuck at a level of roughly one-fifth since 1993, and Stephen Harper has fewer women in his government than did Brian Mulroney. Although we may believe women are making progress, their representation in politics seems decidedly stalled. So it comes as no surprise that we hear little about issues of particular interest to women--breast cancer, violence against women, or the poverty of single mothers.In this engaging, no-nonsense, and witty book, Sylvia Bashevkin argues that Canadians have a profound unease with women in positions of political authority--what she calls the "women plus power equals discomfort" equation. She explores the specific reasons why this discomfort is particularly severe in Canada. Bashevkin also evaluates a range of barriers faced by women who enter politics, including the media's role in assessing the leadership styles, personal appearances, and private lives of female politicians. In clear, accessible terms, Bashevkin explains concepts such as "gender schemas" and "media framing" in terms of key examples, such as Belinda Stronach and Hillary Clinton. Finally, Bashevkin outlines some compelling solutions to address the stalemate facing women in Canadian politics.

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Review

"Bashevkin has written a thoughtful, provocative and accessible book... A particularly useful and timely primer for all those Canadians - women and men - who accept the premise of her title: that the dramatic under-representation of women in our political leadership is the unfinished business of Canadian democracy." --Rt Hon Kim Campbell, first female Prime Minister of Canada

"A stimulating, accessible and practical guide... Combined with electoral reform, [Bashevkin's] insights will go a long way in helping to correct our democratic deficit." --June Macdonald, chair of Women for Fair Voting, Fair Vote Canada

"A lucid, smart and helpful examination of why women mostly fail in politics in Canada, and what can be done about it. Women, Power, Politics should be marked Urgent on the Prime Minister's reading list." --Rosemary Speirs, former national political columnist for the Toronto Star, and founding chair of Equal Voice

About the Author

Sylvia Bashevkin is Professor of Political Science and Principal of University College at the University of Toronto. She has received "Canada 's Most Powerful Women: Top 100" Award, and has also served as President of both the Canadian Political Science Association and the Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association.

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