Renowned political analyst and strategist Kathleen Monk was the speaker at the biennial Hilda Ramsay Dinner organized by NDP PEI women at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel in September.
Monk drew from her experience as communications director for Jack Layton’s famous “Orange Wave” of Election 2011 that placed Canada’s New Democrats as Official Opposition with 103 MPs as she spoke to NDP PEI members and supporters. She also related current events amid flagrant misogynous utterances from the American President, and the controversial Supreme Court hearings of Brett Kavanaugh how women are fighting back through the #MeToo movement, and through electoral politics.
Kathleen Monk related the under-representation of women at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. The Canadian Parliament’s 330 Members currently is represented by only 27% women. Generally, provincial legislatures and municipal councils have poor gender parity stats as well.
On a more positive note, the communications expert referred to studies that have demonstrated the benefits of committees and governments with higher proportional representation of women including more collaborative and consensus building decision making with more support for social and community supports.
Kathleen Monk praised the efforts of Hilda Ramsay Dinner organizers. Hilda Ramsay was the first woman to run for the Prince Edward Island Legislature in the 1950’s. Funds raised from the biennial dinners are allocated to support the campaigns of NDP PEI women candidates..
Two NDP women candidates, Lynne Thiele representing Stratford-Keppoch, and Leah-Jane Hayward for Brackley-Hunter River have been nominated to run in the upcoming provincial election, and Kathleen Monk issued the call for more progressive women to step forward.