Millions of Canadians want a national conversation on violence against women. Are Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau up for the debate?

news-item-2_0November 18, 2014

Following the launch of the Up For Debate campaign, two federal party leaders came out publically in support of a leaders’ debate on women’s issues during the 2015 federal election.

“I fully support the idea of a leaders’ debate that addresses women’s equality in Canada, and look forward to debating these issues with the other party leaders” said Thomas Mulcair in a letter addressed to the Alliance for Women’s Rights. The Leader of the Official Opposition went on to say that a leaders’ debate could help bring the issue of women’s economic inequality and violence against women to the fore during the 2015 election.

Elizabeth May attended the Up For Debate press conference on Parliament Hill on November 4, publically endorsing the campaign’s call for a nationally broadcast leader’s debate on policies and issues that impact women’s lives. “This effort has the Green Party of Canada’s full support” she said later that day on Twitter.

The members of the Up For Debate campaign, who represent four million Canadians across the country, welcome the commitment of these two party leaders. This debate is long overdue.

The conversation on violence against women has gone viral these past weeks. Discussions about sexism, discrimination and women’s ongoing struggle to achieve full equality are taking place across the country – around water coolers, at dinner tables, in mainstream media and on Twitter.

It’s time Canada’s political leaders joined the conversation. Federal leaders cannot ignore this groundswell of voices.

The Up For Debate campaign is calling for a nationally broadcast leaders’ debate on issues identified by women in the 2015 federal election, and is asking all parties to get serious about ending violence against women and girls, take action to end women’s economic inequality, and support women’s leadership.

These last few weeks have shown us that Canadians are deeply concerned about the status of women, in Canada and around the world. They want to hear how political parties plan to build a Canada that works for all women, and make equality a reality.

The question is: are Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau up for the debate?