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Opinion

It’s up to this Parliament to chart a different course for women

By Nancy Peckford      

NDP Christine Moore is asking that MPs who give birth or become the primary care-giver to an infant be given the capacity to largely work out of the riding for the first six months.

NDP MP Christine Moore, pictured in her Confederation Building office with her baby Daphnée. Every Friday while Parliament is sitting, Ms. Moore makes the seven-plus hour drive back to her riding in northern Quebec, often alone and sometimes in bad weather with her baby. The Hill Times photograph by Jean-Loup Doudard

OTTAWA—Conservative MP Michelle Rempel’s article about everyday sexism on the Hill in last week’s National Post is another sobering reminder of a male-dominated workplace in which women who occupy positions of power are met with varying degrees of hostility and/or ignorance far too often. This is not unique to Parliament Hill. Gender-biased behaviour and cultural norms, which undermine or diminish women’s influence in traditionally male fora, are commonplace and often quite resistant to change. And while it may be tempting to characterize the particular brand of sexism we see on the Hill as unique, I am not sure it is.

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