Equal Voice to repeat ground-breaking Daughters of the Vote initiative in 2019

Application period opens October 10th. Young women from across Canada encouraged to apply to participate in coveted political leadership program.

(Ottawa, October 3, 2018) -Today, Equal Voice Canada launched the applications process for its second edition of the Daughters of the Vote(DoV) initiative, providing an opportunity for 338 young women aged 18 to 23 from across Canada to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime multi-partisan political leadership program in the spring of 2019.

The DoV initiative was named by CTV News as one of “2017’s Most Memorable Moment in the House of Commons” and earned widespread national and international media attention as 338 young women took their seats in the House of Commons on International Women’s Day to mark 100 years since some women obtained the right to vote.

In addition to the House of Commons sitting, the Daughters of the Vote 2017four-day program included an Indigenous Forum, policy development workshops, leadership training sessions and many engagement opportunities with elected officials of all stripes.

The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, former NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May also addressed the DoV group.

“We have seen how the Daughters of the Vote program changed the lives of many of our young women delegates,” said Nancy Peckford, Equal Voice’s Executive Director and one of the architects of the Daughters of the Vote concept.

“Many delegates have gone on to work in politics at different levels, including in Ministers’ and MPs’ offices or party headquarters; some are leading national and local advocacy projects; some are engaged in social justice activism, while others have become political candidates themselves.”

The 2019 version of the program will repeat the original format, but will benefit from lessons learned from the 2017 edition, and from greater federal support through the newly established department, Status of Women Canada led by The Hon. Maryam Monsef.

The Hon. Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for the Status of Women, announced earlier today that the Government of Canada will make a significant investment in the program, contributing $ 3.8 million to support the delivery of two DoV programs, one in April 2019 and another one in the spring of 2021.

Additionally, 2019 delegates will be able to access $1,000 micro grants, subject to approval by Equal Voice, to accelerate advocacy efforts in their community.   

Moreover, the dates of the 2019 program were chosen to coincide with the anniversary of Indigenous women obtaining the right to vote – the last group of women to be granted the franchise in Canada on March 31, 1960.

“My experience with the inaugural Daughters of the Vote program suggests that the future of Canada is very bright and we can fully leverage the talent and commitment of diverse and dynamic young women leaders throughout Canada,” said the Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell. “I look forward to meeting the second cohort of delegates in April 2019.”

“These 338 young women are all impressive in their own right. Many were already community leaders before taking part in DoV, while others had the will to do so, but not necessarily the tools or networks. DoV provided an extraordinary opportunity to fuel and amplify the leadership aspirations of talented and motivated young women,” added Nicole Foster, Equal Voice National Chair.

The online DoV application process opens October 10th and will close at midnight Pacific Time on November 22. One young woman aged 18 to 23 will be chosen, after careful consideration, to represent each of the 338 federal ridings.

No previous political experience is required, but prior community leadership experience in a variety of forms will be highly valued. The DoV program will take place in Ottawa from March 31 to April 4, 2019.

A multi-partisan group of Members of Parliaments will serve as DoV champions, including including Minister Maryam Monsef(Liberal Party), Karen Vecchio (Conservative Party), Sheila Malcolmson (New Democratic Party), Marilène Gill (Bloc Quebecois), and Elizabeth May (Green Party), among others.

Quotes from Members of Parliament

“Research shows that more women and diversity, in politics, on boards or on teams, leads to better decision-making. Canadian women are courageous, educated and talented, yet they represent only 26% of seats in Parliament, 28% of seats in provincial and territorial legislatures, and 18% of mayors. During the first Daughters of the Votein March 2017, there were more women occupying seats in Parliament then have been elected in the entire history of Confederation. Canada can and will do better. Our government is proud to support this important project that not only empowers young women from across the country to seek public office, but gives them the tools to lead in their own communities. Efforts like this are essential to ensuring a stronger, more representative democracy where everyone, regardless of gender, has an equal and fair chance at success.” - The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P. for Peterborough and Minister of Status of Women (Liberal Party)

“Daughters of the Vote is an exciting initiative for both participants, and hosts. I was honoured to host a Daughters of the Vote delegate in 2017 and am thrilled to once again be supporting this initiative. I look forward to meeting this year’s representatives, hearing from them, and sharing in this unique experience.” - Karen Vecchio, M.P. for Elgin-Middlesex-London (Conservative Party)

"The young women who came to Ottawa as the 2017 cohort revealed a powerful show of new leadership and a drive to address the challenges that Canada faces. Daughters of the Vote gave them a national platform to call for real change. I have since witnessed dozens of these activists working for social justice, continuing to benefit us as a country." - Sheila Malcolmson, M.P. for Nanaimo – Ladysmith and NDP Critic for Women’s Equality (New Democratic Party)

“I am a woman who has been engaged for a long time and, I hope that with the work of Equal Voice, we will motivate even more young women to engage in politics at all levels. My goal is parity!” - Monique Pauzé, M.P. for Répentigny (Bloc Quebecois)

"The Daughters of the Vote initiative in 2017 was one of the most impressive and inspiring events I have ever attended... not just in Parliament. Anywhere!  I could not be more enthusiastic in welcoming the 2019 Daughters of the Vote!" - Elizabeth May, M.P. for Saanich—Gulf Island and Leader of the Green Party of Canada (Green Party).

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For more information, including to set up interviews with DoV organizers and with 2017 DoV delegates, please contact:

Valérie Gervais
valgervais@live.com
613-741-9376

About Equal Voice

Equal Voice is a national, bilingual, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.

Equal Voice regards the equal representation of women in Canada's Parliament, in our provincial/territorial legislatures, and on municipal and band councils, as a fundamental question of fairness for women in terms of their access to Canada’s democratic institutions.