The Women of #ELXN42: Badass Babes Who Rocked the Boat

Happy election day, Canada! Get out and vote! And if you’re stuck waiting in long lines at the polls, here’s some great reading material about the women who shaped the 2015 federation election campaign. The candidates, pundits, strategists, advocates and journalists who made headlines, shaping our political landscape. Catch up with our Women of #elxn42!


Elizabeth May Pic

Photo: Media Pool

The Party Crasher: Elizabeth May

After being denied the opportunity to join in only two of the five electoral debates, Elizabeth May skillfully ‘crashed the party’ by taking to social media to rebut and argue with her fellow political leaders. Read more about the woman who would be your first female Prime Minister.



Source: Macleans | Christopher Wahl

Photo: Macleans | Christopher Wahl

The Icon: Margaret Atwood

It was a “flighty little caper on hair,” wrote Canadian author Margaret Atwood.  And yet her piece calling out the legitimacy of hair as an electoral issue for The National Post became one of the first notable episodes and hashtags of the 2015 Canadian federal election. Read more about how Margaret Atwood and #HairGate set the tone early on in the election.




Photo: Jill Propp | PMO

The Enforcer: Jenni Byrne

Jenni Byrne – that small-town, blue-collar gal from Fenelon Falls – is the dynamo who helped consolidate Harper’s power in Official Ottawa, a fierce political operative who delivered his majority Conservative government and kept her finger on the pulse of the political base.  Read about Jenni Byrne, one of the most powerful women in the country.



Zunera Ishaq talks to reporters outside the Federal Court of Appeal after her case was heard on whether she can wear a niqab while taking her citizenship oath, in Ottawa on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. The federal government says it plans to challenge the decision that quashed its attempts to ban face coverings at citizenship ceremonies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle // 0925 elxn niqab

Photo: The Canadian Press | Patrick Doyle

The Face: Zunera Ishaq

Hers is the face that launched a thousand political squabbles.  Zunera Ishaq, the woman the Stephen Harper Government is attempting to force into casting aside her niqab as she swears her citizenship oath.  Read more about Ishaq, whose face has polarized the electoral debate.




Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 12.59.33 PM

Photo: CBC

The Inquisitor: Rosemary Barton

She dropped the mic on Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, as he tried to avoid answering critical questions on Canada’s inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis.  Read more about Rosemary Barton, the CBC journalist who has taken over at CBC’s Power and Politics.


Mrs. Canada Ashley Burnham celebrates after being crowned Mrs. Universe during the Mrs. Universe 2015 pageant final in Minsk on August 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MAXIM MALINOVSKYMAXIM MALINOVSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Maxim Malinovsky | AFP | Getty Images

The Beauty Queen: Ashley Callingbull Burnham

She won her crown as the new Mrs. Universe and immediately called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his inaction on Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women.  And since then, Ashley Callingbull Burnham has agitated to get Indigenous people registered and out to the ballot box, for the environment with the Leap Manifesto and against Bill C-51, which criminalizes Indigenous protests to protect land and water.  Read more about badass beauty queen Ashley Callingbull Burnham.



Photo: Up for Debate

The Alliance: Up for Debate

The first – and only – debate on women’s issues was held in that Orwellian year of 1984. Prophetic of where women’s issues have gone since then?  Not if Up for Debate had anything to do with it:  the alliance of organisations for women’s rights fought to have an electoral debate that focused exclusively on women’s issues. Read more about how Up for Debate brought you the first women’s issues debate since 1984.


You may also be interested in….


Building a pro-woman culture in the wake of the niqab debate

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