On Friday afternoon we met with Erica Rayment, co-chair for Equal Voice, Government Relations Manager for the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and OLIP alum. Equal Voice is a nonprofit, multi-partisan organization dedicated to encouraging the election of more women in Canadian politics. Equal voice strives, as Erica put it, to ‘put themselves out of business;’ they aspire to a political system in which such an organization isn’t necessary, wherein women are elected at similar rates to men without intervention.
Erica told us about how she came to the realization during her time as an intern that electing more women was such an important issue for Ontario, and how she then came to be involved with Equal Voice. She also described for us some of the initiatives Equal Voice is currently working towards, including Run Her and Fund Her, two campaigns seeking to get more women nominated in winnable ridings, and to match female candidates with donators, respectively. She also told us about MPP Cheri DiNovo’s initiative Girls’ Government, a nonpartisan program which gathers grade 8 girls from across the riding, to learn about politics and issues, and inspire them to consider politics as a career. Since Girls’ Government began, more MPPs have become involved, running the program in their constituencies. Erica encouraged us to discuss Girls’ Government with our MPPs once we are placed, and we encourage our readers to learn more about Equal Voice on their website.