This International Women’s Day, Equal Voice is hosting 338 Daughters of the Vote delegates across Canada representing their ridings in a virtual House of Commons session. Originally created in 2017, Daughters of the Vote is fueled by the goal of electing more women to political office by empowering young women and gender diverse youth to share their lived experiences and visions for the future of Canada.
Daughters of the Vote is an ambitious initiative by Equal Voice that began in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of some women getting the right to vote in Canada, and the still incomplete journey of women’s full participation in politics today.
The 338 delegates, representing every federal riding in Canada, were selected through an open call for applications to participate in a dynamic political leadership summit in Ottawa. The 2021 virtual event will be held thanks to generous funding from the Department for Women and Gender Equality.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this third iteration of Daughters of the Vote is the first program to be held fully online. Equal Voice is pleased to welcome many incredible speakers from all political backgrounds, and to be partnering with community organizations to deliver this year’s program. Topics of the sessions throughout the four-day program include working at all levels of government, inclusive politics, media engagement, Parliamentary committee simulations, and a virtual House of Commons session on International Women’s Day, March 8. Delegates will also have the opportunity to hear from the leaders of Canada’s federal political parties on that day.
Equal Voice is committed to delivering a program that is accessible, inclusive, and provides a positive experience for all delegates in 2021. This includes providing supports such as community mediators, Indigenous Elders, and mental health supports, while ensuring accessibility of the program with support for childcare, interpretation, closed captioning, ASL, and the provision of technology to delegates in need. This year’s program also includes elements to ensure the inclusivity of Daughters of the Vote, such as mandatory anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all participants, staff, and volunteers, forums for Indigenous and Black delegates, and sessions which focus on the diverse and intersectional identities of delegates and their impact on political engagement.
Equal Voice is eager to hear from all delegates on their vision for the future of Canada throughout this year’s Daughters of the Vote from March 5-8, and looks forward to the seeing how their future successes will better Canada’s political institutions and communities for years to come. We also wish to thank all the elected officials, political parties, the Government of Canada, and all corporate and community sponsors for their generosity and support in making Daughters of the Vote possible this year.