March 5, 2021

What We Are Learning This Week with Dr. Erica Rayment

This week in POLI 551 Women in Canadian Politics, Dr. Rayment is exploring childcare policy in Canada as part of a two-week series on public policy relating to women and work.
POLI 551

Mar. 8, 2021 in POLI 551 Women in Canadian Politics

Dr. Erica Rayment is exploring childcare policy in Canada as part of a two-week series on public policy relating to women and work.


Can you tell us a little more about this topic?

The establishment of a national childcare policy in Canada has been an important goal for women’s movement organizers in Canada for at least half a century. Despite the importance of childcare policy for helping move us towards women’s economic equality, there is no national childcare policy in Canada. In 2020, however, COVID-19 brought the conversation about childcare and women’s workforce participation back into focus. In this week’s readings and discussions, we’re looking at how the conversation about childcare policy has evolved over time, where things stand today, and what the future prospects for this policy area might look like.

What else do you cover in your course?

In POLI 551 we look at women’s political engagement in Canada over the past century. In the first part of the course, we lay the conceptual and historical foundations for the study of women in Canadian politics. Then we look at women’s formal participation in electoral politics in Canada and the barriers they’ve faced. In the second part of the course, we look at the impact women have had on Canadian politics and dig into a couple of policy issues that are important for gender equality—pay and employment equity, childcare and parental leave, and reproductive rights.

Erica Rayment

What do you find most challenging in teaching this course?

For me, the hardest thing with this course is figuring out how to squeeze in everything that I want to cover! I love this topic, and three hours a week for one semester just never feels like enough.

Finally, what other courses would you recommend for students interested in this topic?

The department has lots of great options for students interested in gender and politics. Dr. Susan Franceschet teaches Women and Politics (POLI 453)  as well as Women and Public Policy (POLI 554), both of which take a comparative approach. For students who are interested in the Canadian case, I also teach POLI 502 Democracy and Representation in Canadian Political Institutions that looks at questions of political representation in Canada—including the representation of women. 

Our Thanks to Dr. Erica Rayment for sharing your course with us.

Follow Dr. Rayment on Twitter @EricaRayment