Activists urge CAQ to include gender parity in electoral-reform plans

A coalition of women's rights activists from across the political spectrum are demanding that the CAQ's plans to reform the provincial electoral system include "concrete and verifiable measures" to make gender parity in the National Assembly a reality.

That request was made by the Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie during a press conference held in Montreal on Sunday, just blocks away from the CAQ's annual convention.

The organization's president, Thérèse Mailloux, said that ensuring that women are represented equally alongside men in the provincial legislature is "inseparable from a reform of the voting system that aims to correct the shortcomings of citizen representation."

The Legault Government has committed to introducing legislation on October 1st to change Quebec's electoral system to a mixed-member proportional one.  Former Quebec Solidaire MNA Françoise David told Le Devoir that she sees the coming change as an opportunity.

"This voting system offers several possibilities for measurement, such as the alternation of women and men in the lists of candidates nominated by the parties," she told the paper.

Quebec currently ranks 11th in the world in women's representation in the legislature, with 42.2% of the National Assembly's membership being women as of last fall's election. Federally, around 25% of Canadian MPs are women, putting the country 62nd.