The 2018 Quebec election marks a historic number of women running for office. Candidates for the four main political parties are fairly representative of the general Quebec population — close to 50 per cent of them are women, and eight per cent are visible minorities.
However, the most recent projections predict the makeup of the next national assembly will be much less diverse.
There are more women running for the four main political parties in this year’s provincial election than ever before — 47 per cent of the candidates are women.
Québec Solidaire boasts the most female candidates with 66, while the Coalition Avenir Québec leads the three major parties with 65 women compared to 60 men.
“We can no longer ignore the needs of women and the issue of parity,” said Nathalie Lavoie, communications director for the non-profit Groupe Femmes Politique Démocratie (GFPD).
She called it “a critical mass.”
However, GFPD is not quite ready to celebrate gender equality just yet. It says it’s not enough that there is an equal number of women running, they also need to run equally in what Lavoie calls “winnable ridings.”
Based on the most recent polls, the non-profit predicts that fewer than 47 per cent of women will be elected on Oct. 1; they estimate between only 39 and 42 per cent of MNAs will be women.
The Liberal candidate in the riding of Saint-Laurent — Marwah Rizqy — said this election shows a trend: not only will more women be elected, but she said they will also hold some of the biggest portfolios.
“I always said that one day I would like to be in charge of finance. I have a background in taxation, and of course, I love the economy,” Rizqy said.
CAQ Leader François Legault promises if elected, half of his cabinet will be women.
However, Lavoie said that without legislation there’s no guarantee of achieving gender parity. She said that’s why Quebec needs a law that ensures parity in the national assembly. The Parti Quebecois and Quebec Solidaire have promised to do that if elected.