Women's participation in politics matters very much.
Yet in Canada, women MPs have been stuck at a level of roughly one-fifth since 1993, and Stephen Harper has fewer women in his government than did Brian Mulroney. Although we may believe women are making progress, their
representation in politics seems decidedly stalled. So it comes as no surprise that we hear little about issues of particular interest to women--breast cancer, violence against women, or the poverty of single mothers.
In this engaging, no-nonsense, and witty book, Sylvia Bashevkin argues
that Canadians have a profound unease with women in positions of political authority--what she calls the "women plus power equals discomfort" equation. She explores the specific reasons why this discomfort is particularly severe in Canada. Bashevkin also evaluates a range of barriers faced by women
who enter politics, including the media's role in assessing the leadership styles, personal appearances, and private lives of female politicians. In clear, accessible terms, Bashevkin explains concepts such as "gender schemas" and "media framing" in terms of key examples, such as Belinda Stronach
and Hillary Clinton.
Finally, Bashevkin outlines some compelling solutions to address the stalemate facing women in Canadian politics.
2. Discomfort zones
3. Plus perfect figures
4. Vexatious vixens
5. Pincer movements
6. What to do
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Sylvia Bashevkin is Professor of Political Science and Principal of University College at the University of Toronto. She has received "Canada 's Most Powerful Women: Top 100" Award, and has also served as President of both the Canadian Political Science Association and the Women and Politics
Research Section of the American Political Science Association.