Thursday, January 10

Women in power not a priority for Tories: ex-PM Campbell

As the country's first ministers unpack their suits and ties for their meeting in the nation's capital, Canada's first and only female prime minister is bemoaning the lack of women in federal positions of power.

In particular, Kim Campbell says the small number of women in Stephen Harper's Conservative cabinet signals the issue is a low priority for his government.
Her comments come exactly a year after Harper shuffled his top female minister out of Environment and into the Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio. Since then Rona Ambrose has been virtually invisible on the public scene, even this week as the premiers gather to meet in Ottawa for perhaps the most important intergovernmental meeting of the year.

Campbell noted in an interview Thursday that she doesn't keep track of all the players on the federal scene. But she said that the message the Harper government is sending by having only 5 female cabinet ministers out of slate of 27 is that "it's not an important issue to them."

"Part of the problem is that women are still seen as kind of an afterthought, that men are the default quality and women are somehow a departure from that," she says.


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