Skip to main content

How about a Throne Speech that talks about women?

Printer-friendly version
Duncan, Kirsty
Publication Date: 
12 Nov 2013


[Kirsty Duncan is a Liberal MP.]


After a month of prorogation and a shuttered Parliament, MPs at last returned to the Hill for the Government's Speech from the Throne laying out its new agenda for the Second Session of the Forty-First Parliament of Canada.


In response to the Speech, one of my young constituents simply asked, "do women and girls even register with this government?" Her question prompted me to think about what a Throne Speech might have looked like if it actually addressed the challenges Canadian women face.

Perhaps it would have begun with our remembering in silent prayer and reflection the 600 murdered and missing Aboriginal women -- mothers, aunts, cousins, sisters stolen from our communities and taken from Canada -- and a commitment to an inquiry with real recommendations to end the violence.

Perhaps it would have celebrated our Canadian women heroes, their courage, determination and vision, and perhaps it would have challenged us all to address the remaining inequalities, and build brighter futures for our families, communities, and our country.

After almost one hundred years of women's advocating, this would at last mean eliminating the gender wage gap. Its eradication would be an economic imperative, as the wage gap hurts our families and hurts our economy. In fact, Canada's largest bank has shown that the lost income potential of women in Canada due to the wage gap is a staggering $126 billion a year.

It would be understood that a healthy and robust Canadian economy needs women's contributions, and that it is government's job to remove the obstacles that appear at all stages of women's lives that keep them from realising their full potential.

It would also understand that a lack of affordable child care holds women back, and is one of our country's great unsolved issues. As a result, there would be a promise to start a dialogue with Canadians to fix Canada's broken child care promises, and to fix a system which is failing Canadians.

There would be a real effort to engage Canadian women, and not disarm advocacy groups. It would be understood that women's help and ideas are needed to see what Canada could do better to increase their participation in the economy today, and in the future -- so that women really can have it all.


The future is Canada's to have, but only if we build a truly inclusive society where women can thrive, and achieve their greatest dreams.

- reprinted from the Huffington Post

Entered Date: 
12 Nov 2013
Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes