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Photo of 100 female U of T students in front of a building on Parliament Hill.
Photo by Tina Park

Women Are in the House!

A unique U of T program that takes 100 female students to Parliament Hill aims to encourage more women to enter politics

In September, Parliament Hill played host to U of T Women in House, a non-partisan program in which 100 female U of T students were paired with an MP or senator for a day. “The program aims to tackle the daunting challenge of gender inequality by taking practical local steps,” says U of T Munk School’s Tina Park, who co-founded the program with MP Carolyn Bennett (MD 1974) in 2013. “It always excites me to imagine our students’ potential and the impact that this experience will have in how they see politics.”

Participants took a tour of the Supreme Court of Canada and engaged in a Q&A with Supreme Court Justice Andromache Karakatsanis (BA 1978 VIC). “The program has solidified my aspirations to pursue a career in politics,” wrote second-year student Katrina Van Genderen in an essay about the event. “These MPs are just normal people who worked very hard and accumulated experience to get where they are. Being successful in politics no longer seems like an insurmountable goal.”

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