“Lagging Behind” : An Examination of Why Women Continue to be So Underrepresented in Canadian Federal Politics

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  • Pettie, Jasmin


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


The purpose of this study was to explore the question of why women are still so underrepresented in Canadian federal politics and specifically within the Canadian House of Commons despite advances in representation in many other fields. To answer this question a study was conducted using qualitative data obtained from interviews with 17 female Members of the 42nd Parliament of Canada between October 2018 to April 2019. Data collected through these interviews was analyzed qualitatively using a combination of content and discourse analysis to summarize, categorize, and investigate the verbal, written, and behavioural data that was obtained. Findings from this study mostly confirm the findings of previous research with a few key exceptions. New findings from this study include that a more nuanced relationship exists between female MP’s and the media than previously thought; that most of the women who run for office at the federal level have very little or no knowledge of the nomination, candidate, and electoral process before they start; and that a toxic work place culture exists within the House of Commons and this negatively impacts the experience that female MP’s have and is one of the reasons women are more likely to have shorter political terms and leave politics after shorter amounts of time when compared to their male counterparts.


Carleton University


Women -- Political activity
Women -- Political activity -- Canada
Political science -- Canada
Press coverage
Work environment

Faculty Name: 

Faculty of Public Affairs

Department Name: 

Department of Political Science

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