Percentage of Women in PEI Cabinet Among Lowest in the Country

Another disappointment for the Coalition

Friday, May 22, 2015

The current cabinet includes just one woman among nine cabinet positions (11%).

May 22, 2015, CHARLOTTETOWN — Following Tina Mundy’s resignation from cabinet this afternoon, PEI falls to ninth place among Canadian provinces and territories with regard to the percentage of women in cabinet. With Alberta’s cabinet to be sworn in on Sunday May 24th, it is likely PEI will fall to tenth, placing it among the lowest in the country in terms of gender diversity in cabinet.

The current cabinet includes just one woman among nine cabinet positions (11%). "Given the decrease in women elected to the legislature this election, we called for cabinet to include at least one-third women" says Dawn Wilson, Executive Director PEI Coalition for Women in Government. "Increased diversity in decision-making is a vital component of equality and we are disappointed to see only one woman at the cabinet table." Wilson noted.

Dianne Porter, Chairperson of the PEI Coalition for Women in Government adds "The number of women in cabinet has remained stagnant over the past few governments, never rising above 25%." The diminishing of women from public view is particularly concerning to the Coalition. Porter adds, "Including women in cabinet creates an opportunity not only for gender perspectives to be heard, but also increases the public profile of women’s leadership."

"While regional representation is important within cabinet, it should not be the first and only consideration. Having more women at the decision-making table increases the potential for policy and programs that meet the needs of Island women and losing even one woman from an already under-represented cabinet severely limits the opportunity for women’s voices to be heard" says Jane Ledwell, Coalition member for the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Wilson concludes "We encourage Premier MacLauchlan and members of cabinet to make gender a priority. We will be looking for more gender parity among deputy ministers. All ministers, both women and men, will need to work hard to seek out meaningful consultation with women’s organizations to ensure a gender perspective is included in policy and programs."

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