Up for Debate

Up for Debate

Ending poverty and inequality begins with women's rights. Ahead of the election in 2015, Oxfam Canada teamed up with the Alliance for Women’s Rights, calling for a national leaders debate on issues identified by women.

The Up for Debate campaign created a Canada-wide conversation on gender justice and equality, and generated a call for all political parties to make meaningful commitments to change women’s lives for the better.

Up for Debate was led by the Alliance for Women's Rights. As Canada headed into a federal election in 2015, Oxfam Canada was part of the 175 members of the Alliance For Women’s Rights united in calling for measureable commitments that show our political leaders understand the diverse needs and realities of women.

Thanks to a partnership between the Up For Debate campaign, Twitter Canada, Toronto Star and Le Devoir, women’s issues have finally take the forefront in the federal election.  This national conversation on women’s issues was broadcast live from Toronto’s Isabel Bader theatre, and featured a lineup of commentators and pundits who analyzed and debated clips from exclusive one-on-one video interviews with four of the five federal party leaders.

We called on party leaders to put issues that impact the lives of women and girls in Canada and abroad at the forefront of the federal election, as a conversation ahead of the election would translate into meaningful policy change at the federal level.

What we called for

We asked party leaders to tell us their vision for a more equal Canada for all of us and to articulate policies that will change women’s lives for the better, at home and around the world.

We strive to see meaningful treatment of women’s rights issues in all party election platforms. We called for substantive commitments and specific strategies to
►  end violence against women
►  end women’s economic inequality
►  support women’s leadership and organizations

Why We're Up For Debate

Women are change-makers and leaders in their communities. More Canadian women than ever before are graduating from university, entering new professions and running for public office.

Yet women in Canada:
►  continue to earn 20% less than their male peers for the same work.
►  are more likely to be poor
►  do twice as much unpaid work at home
►  continue to experience violence at alarming rates. More than 8,000 women and children seek protection every day in Canada’s shelter system. In the last 35 years, more than 1,000 Aboriginal women and girls have been murdered or gone missing in our country.

Three decades have passed since Canada held its first and only leaders’ debate on issues identified by women. Much has changed since that time, but much more needs to be done. We’re Up For Debate on meaningful change for women and girls to address inequality and injustice. 

►  One in three women and girls around the world will be physically or sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
►  In every country, women face economic exclusion and marginalization
►  Violence against women is endemic, and sexual violence continues to be used as a weapon in armed conflict
►  Every year, 14 million girls are married against their will before they turn 18
►  Women still account for only nine per cent of the police, 20 per cent of parliamentarians, and 27 per cent of all judges worldwide
►  Women’s voices matter:  In the 2011 Canadian federal election, half a million more women turned out to vote than men

Thank you for joining us in standing up for women's rights!