Brock students given opportunity to shadow women in parliament

News.WomeninHouse

Brock’s chapter of Women in House has opened applications for its next Ottawa trip. The Women in House program allows students who identify as women to shadow female members of parliament to learn more about what it means to be a woman in politics.

Kara Emberson created this chapter, which ran its first trip in the 2014-2015 year, when she was a fourth year student in Political Science. This trip will be the fifth organized by Women in House at Brock in as many years.

Applications for this year’s trip will be due October 31. The trip itself will occur in February 2019.

“If you are looking to get the most out of your Brock experience, meet people with similar interests, develop leadership skills, and engage in amazing opportunities such as networking and experiential learning, be sure to apply to the program,” the Facebook page for Brock Women in House says.

The program began at McGill University in Quebec in 2001.

“Women in House is a non-partisan program mandated to increase the female representation in politics by giving female students the opportunity to gain an inside look into the lives of women politicians in the Canadian federal government. We aim to foster enthusiasm and a desire for involvement in Canadian politics among our participants, while showcasing the successes of women who have broken through significant gender barriers to enter political life,” says the Women in House website.

This mandate is shared by all new chapters of Women in House.

Taylor Holroyd, who attended the trip through the McGill program in 2014, shared her experience on their website. According to Holroyd: “On the second day, I had the amazing opportunity to shadow with MP Libby Davies of Vancouver East. Libby made me feel extremely welcome and engaged throughout the day. The highlight was certainly the meeting of the Standing Committee on Health, where I got to see Libby in her element:  asking candid questions and responding with eloquence and ease.  Libby has over 17 years of experience as an MP, so she had many fascinating stories to tell about her time in Parliament. We were able to speak frankly about sexism on the hill, overcoming gender barriers, and the importance of women in government.”

Some of the members of parliament that Brock students have shadowed include Julie Dabrusin, who represents Toronto-Danforth; Eva Nassif, who represents Vimy; Karen McCrimmon, who represents Kanata-Carleton; and Pam Damroff, who represents Oakville North-Burlington.

Beyond the experience alone, some participants have found job opportunities through this trip in the past.

“Empowering young people is a key to our future. Karen Dancy (a Brock student) shadowed me on February 5 and before the day ended, I hired her on a contract until the end of April. I am incredibly grateful for the Women in the House at Brock University program for introducing me to Karen. She has an amazing future on the Hill. Good luck as Legislative Assistant with MP Mark Gerretsen. #womeninhouse #equalvoice,” Karen Ludwig, MP of New Brunswick Southwest posted on Facebook in April 2016.

The organizers of this year’s event are Brianna Depaulo and Charmain Tulloch. Tulloch, a fourth year student majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in Labour Studies, attended the trip last year and shadowed Salma Zahid, MP of Scarborough. She also sat in on the Committee of Citizenship & Immigration as well as the Committee of Indigenous and Northern Affairs during the trip.

Students with questions can reach out via the Women in House at Brock University Facebook page or through email at brockwomeninhouse@gmail.com.

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