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Gender dynamics begin to shift in Canadian politics

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Summary of story from The Huffington Post, December 21, 2011

For the first time ever, four women will be present at a gathering of provincial and territorial leaders in Victoria, Canada, next month.

Eva Aariak of Nunuvat, Cathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador, Alison Redford of Alberta and Christy Clark of British Columbia will all attend the important meeting.

“I think it will be very exciting to come together as a group with more women at the table,” Ms Aariak said, “and I think they will contribute valuable information.”

Agreeing, Cathy Dunderdale said: “I know it’s going to be different because women … simply don’t experience life the same way as men, so that gives you a certain insight, a certain perspective.”

Ms Dunderdale made history this October by becoming the first woman elected premier in Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, in general, women in Canada are currently under-represented at virtually every level across the country.

Ms Dunderdale is keen to encourage a more gender-balanced political landscape.

“Once women begin to think about it and realize how important it is that they become engaged in activities that ultimately have an impact on their lives — that they need to be able to influence that … only then will things really begin to change at a fundamental level.

“Young girls need to know that this is a possibility for them,” she said.

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