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Women in politics: To run or not to run?

Canada’s only female prime minister, Kim Campbell, addresses the Daughters of the Vote event organized by Equal Voice Canada in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2017. Campbell served as prime minister for about four months in 1993.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Despite progress towards gender equality, women’s representation in Canadian politics continues to fall short. With only 30 per cent of seats in the House of Commons held by women, there is still a long way to go for Parliament to capture the diversity of the population it represents.

There are several factors that contribute to the persistent gender disparities in the political process. Research on women in politics has identified multiple obstacles that hinder women’s representation, with three factors emerging as the most prominent explanations.

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