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Women in House 2009 Coordinators: Etana Cain & Eszter Sipos. Quick Facts About Women in House. The program was created in 2001 by McGill students Galit Dobner and Chi Nguyen
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Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac
Dr Hedy Fry
Martha Hall Findlay
Lillian Eva Dyck
Mobina S.B Jaffer
Dr Carolyn Bennett
Raylene Lang Dion- National Chair of Equal Voice
Nancy Peckford – Equal Voice
During this first day of the program, participants heard from various guest speakers, attended question period and took a tour of the parliament.
Raylene-Lang Dion, National Chair of Equal Voice, along with her colleague Nancy Peckford came andspoke to the group about the importance of increasing the number of women in the Canadian Parliament.
Equal Voice is a non partisan organization which advocates for women’s equal representation in the government.
Liberal MP for St Pauls, Dr Carolyn Bennett, spoke to the participants about her role as an advocate for women as well as her personal experiences in politics
NDP MPs: Libby Davies, Vancouver East, Irene Mathyssen, London Fanshawe and Jean Crowder, Naniamo Cowichan, spoke to the group about how they got involved in politics.
Irene Mathyssen, MP for London Fanshawe, invited all Women in House participants to a breakfast in honour of International Women’s Day which was hosted by the NDP Women’s Caucus. Then, after the breakfast participants spent the day shadowing their MPs/Senators.
Students with Irene Mathyssen
Students with Libby Davies
The topic of discussion was ‘Women in the Economic Crisis’. Speakers included: Jack Layton leader of the NDP & Peggy Nash, former MP for Parkdale High Park, who spoke on behalf of Canadian Auto Workers.
We also heard from Members of the NDP Women’s Caucus
Carol Hughes, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing; Megan Leslie, Halifax; Dawn Black, New Westminster Coquitlam
Irene Lax with her shadow Conservative MP Shelly Glover, Saint Boniface
“Mrs. Glover actively included me in all the events she attended throughout the day... I was able to sit in on the Official Languages committee, the Canada-EU Executive and General committees, and a private meeting with one of Mrs. Glover’s constituents. I was also graciously taken to a NATO cocktail, at which I was introduced to the Defense Attaché from Romania, a colonel from Hungary, and the Defense Attaché of Cote d’Ivoire. Moreover, Mrs. Glover ensured that I had proper seating at Question Period, and even waved to me from the floor!”
Rivkah Hoffman with her shadow Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Lachine
Rivkah says: “To get the chance to experience the ins and outs of a female politician is truly a once in a lifetime chance... It's one thing to shake hands with someone in power but its certainly another to really share quality time with them. I have learned so much and made great ties. Making the decision to apply to the Women in House program was by far the best decision I've made in my university career."
Jessica-Ho-Wo-Cheong & Kerianne Wilson with Bloc MP Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot
Hinda Rabkin and her shadow, Bloc MP Meili Faille, Vaudreuil—Soulanges
Jessica says: “I had the pleasure of speaking with Mme Thi Lac about what being a woman in Parliament is like and the specific challenges associated with it... I felt more inspired than ever to pursue a career in Politics! I cannot stop thinking about all the lessons I learned and keep on envisioning myself in such an important and fast-paced environment. This was truly an unforgettable experience .”
Hinda says: “Mme Faille feels comfortable in Parliament and you can see it - she knows she belongs there and I was awed and privileged to have experienced the work she does, just for one day.”
“The MP I shadowed was lovely, she cared a lot about the goals of the program. She invested time and effort to make me comfortable and understand that being a women in our society remains to be a challenge, but she assured me that this challenge could be overcome! She is an inspiration to me.”