When women are missing from politics, their lived experiences are missing -- naming the issues and coming up with solutions, identifying barriers and revealing the breadth of experience with violence. With more women in politics, we could hope that such vital issues would not be allowed to be ignored for so long in the future.
When I first met Christy Clark, I remember thinking we had a lot in common. Journalism has changed a lot, but at the time, female reporters and anchors were unusual -- in fact, when I was the first female reporter at CKNW, some listeners complained: how could this woman report the news? Likewise, Christy was also a woman in an untraditional place: cabinet.
Unfortunately, South Korea still has a long way to go in terms of females getting opportunities in leadership positions. The number of female politicians in South Korea is 49 out of 300 members of parliament and South Korea had a 37.4 per cent gender wage gap, which was the largest gap among OECD countries in 2014..
It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways. Being a working mother is a never ending balancing act. My children have always had a politician for a mom; I was elected to Toronto's city council before they were born. My chosen career -- and my choice to run for Mayor -- means that my life is, to a certain degree, public.
I'm ready to drop the charade that looks don't count. They do. It pays to look good and the sooner we accept that appearances tell a story that affects our professional success, the less guilty we'll feel about being vain.
The very argument that women are innately good at nurturing is anti-feminist. It's actually the same argument that's been used to keep women out of politics, making sure that when mothers run for office they get questioned about how they're making sure their children are taken care of.
I believe that equal political representation is incredibly important. But when I think about the combative, dirty-pool, public-scrutiny-all-the-time, men's club that is Canadian politics, I cringe.
More women in politics changes not only what is done but how. What is discussed changes; more time on health, child care, and environmental concerns; and more consensus-driven win-win approaches replace the testosterone-driven triumphalism of politics as usual.