Girls Flex Their Political Muscles

40th Annual Alberta Girls Parliament

40th Annual Alberta Girls Parliament

Woo hoo! It’s Election Day in Canada. Okay, perhaps today is not as full of the pomp and ceremony of a certain recent wedding. But there is something just a little bit exciting about having your say in the democratic process – just by marking an X on a ballot, we help decide how Canada will be run. (You are going to vote today, right? Oh, and have you signed the Take a Girl to Vote pledge yet?)

Earlier this spring, Girl Guides in Alberta got a glimpse of political life during the 40th annual Alberta Girls’ Parliament. The parliament is a hands-on way for girls to get a realistic view of life in the political trenches. During the weekend event, they elected opposition leaders, a Speaker and then rolled up their sleeves and got down and dirty with some serious parliamentary debates.

At this year’s Girls’ Parliament, the Pathfinders and Rangers debated weighty subjects such as organ donations, free-range livestock and sexual health education for teens. Among the guest speakers was Alberta MLA Rachel Notley (whose daughter is a Guide), sharing her own experiences of the role of women in politics.

Not to complain or anything, but Canada currently ranks a measly 52nd out of 189 countries in the number of women elected to national government. Canada has fewer women elected to parliament than Rwanda, Iraq or Afghanistan. (Insert gasp here.)

Here’s hoping that as more and more young women become engaged in the political process, we’ll start some more favourable statistics.

By Mary, GGC staff

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