Women candidates in no way less qualified

I was struck by both his tone and his argument against equity for candidates.

Re: “Stuff like this keeps me up at night”, (Citizen, Jan. 18)

David Lowther’s letter upset me initially, because as a senior woman who has supported the NDP since I could vote I was struck by both his tone and his argument against equity for candidates.

I thought about this before responding, since as a man as old as I am, probably older, Mr. Lowther has had much to contend with when it comes to change in the world, and of course he is entitled to express his opinion because of the democracy we both respect and support.

But I have to say that I resent the implication that the candidate elected is somehow inferior and that the women who were potential candidates were less qualified. All three, by virtue of their experience, are more than qualified.

As a worker in a non-traditional job (labourer) with an almost 1,500 workforce of mostly men, I had to contend with this sort of thinking for 20 years, and in the end, so many of my fellow workers told me I was the hardest worker they ever saw, and my management people (all men) said the same. Both these groups resented me initially, and both made my life difficult in the early years, but I persevered, as a worker and an unpaid union activist..

I only mention this to show my personal experience of the sort of fight that the women candidates who run are preparing to go up against, never mind the run against the opposition forces.

What the women and other equity seeking candidates need is the support and assistance of those who value what the NDP stands for, and further, to point out that the Liberals have more elected women than the NDP only supports the decision to play catch-up.

With the massive corporate funds that are there at the Libs’ disposal, is it any wonder that there are fewer NDP women elected, or in fact running?

This decision by the party has helped to make it possible to one day toss the rule when it is no longer necessary.


Wendi Galczik