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More inclusive parliaments start with better workplace conditions

To attract and retain top talent, new ways of “doing” politics must challenge settler colonialism and an aggressive, masculinized culture.

Former minister of tourism Melanie Mark announces her resignation at the B.C. legislature in Victoria. on February 22, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolit

In the first few months of 2023, two notable women leaders announced their exits from the global political stage: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. The reasons for their resignations vary, but both leaders faced sexism, threats and harassment, and that likely played roles in their decisions. Their departures serve as a reminder that even when women ascend the highest rungs of power, they face gendered obstacles that make it challenging for them to perform the duties expected of them as public officials.


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