March 7-8, 2017: CWP - Canadian Region participated at the Daughters of the Vote

The 2017 International Women’s Day coincided with the celebration of an important milestone for women’s suffrage in Canadian history: Canada’s centennial for women’s right to vote. It was in 1917 that women first won the right to vote in Canada. First in provincial elections and later, at least for some, in the federal elections.[1]

To commemorate this important day, Parliament welcomed 338 young women between the ages of 18 to 23 to represent every riding in Canada. During their time on Parliament Hill, they were given the opportunity to represent their communities in the House of Commons, where they shared their vision for Canada in the seats of their respective Members of Parliament.

To be part of the unique event, members of the Steering Committee of CWP used the CWP Strengthening Funds 2017 to pay for the travel to Ottawa and the accommodation of its members.

These exceptional young women were brought together by Equal Voice, a Canadian civil society organization “dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.”[2]

The goal of the initiative was to help young women “become familiar with Canada’s political institutions and those women and men serving in them – so they are equipped and inspired to participate in the formal political sphere in the years and decades to come.”[3]

The event was a resounding success. These future leaders finished their week on Parliament Hill with a greater network of peers who want to make a difference in their communities, and left many parliamentarians inspired by their enthusiasm and perseverance.

This group of young women from diverse Indigenous, racial, ethnic and religious groups were a good snapshot of Canada’s cultural landscape. It was this mix of backgrounds that truly contributed to the event’s success. Some Daughters of the Vote described the historic event as powerful and emotional as they were moved by their peers who spoke to issues that touch their lives. Many of their speeches, delivered in the House of Commons, were met with standing ovations from participants and parliamentarians alike.

The Daughters of the Vote also heard from many female leaders from both Houses of Parliament and from women who are part of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Canada Region. Daughters of the Vote also heard from former Prime Minister Kim Campbell and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who fielded questions during a mock question period.

The Daughters of the Vote initiative is only one example of how CWP Canadian Region is using every opportunity to shed light on CWP small but meaningful contributions and how we used the CWP Strengthening Funds in 2017. The Steering Committee Members of CWP used the opportunity to hold an informal Steering Committee meeting.


[1]          Only women defined under The War-time Elections Act and the Military Voters Act were granted the right to vote. See Parliament of Canada, Women’s Right to Vote in Canada; and Daughters of the Vote, Back Story.

[2]          Equal Voice, About Equal Voice.

[3]          Daughters of the Vote, Home.