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Women in House: Putting a human face on politics for female U of T students

Some of the Women in House students with NDP leader Tom Mulcair and other NDP caucus members

It was 2015, as Prime Minister Trudeau famously put it. Now it is 2016.

And on March 8, International Women’s Day, 43 female students from the University of Toronto visited the Parliament of Canada, a day after a stop at the Supreme Court.

They were taking part in the fourth annual edition of U of T Women in House. Participating institutions included the department of political science; the International Relations program at Trinity College; Massey College; the School of Public Policy and Governance; Trinity One; the Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice at the Munk School of Global Affairs; and University College.

“It’s fantastic to see all these amazing women, from first-years to post-docs,” Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, told U of T News after what she called a “raucous” Question Period in the House of Commons.

“It was wonderful to welcome them to Ottawa and the Hill. It was everything we hoped it would be.”

Bennett, one of the founders of U of T Women in House, said she believed the experience, which matches students with parliamentary hosts, helps “put a human face” on politics.

The minister also credited Tina Park, the PhD candidate in Canadian history who is the principal organizer of the event.

Representatives from all parties addressed the cohort, the largest since the inception of U of T Women in House in 2013. (Read about previous years of Women in House.)

Not that a trip to Ottawa is necessarily a peaceable affair.

“The Speaker was quite a disciplinarian today,” Bennett noted. “We’ll have to see what the women think of that.”

Throughout the day, students shared photos and reflections about the trip on social media. See the highlights below.


For more information – and postings – go to https://utwomeninhouse.wordpress.com/2016-participant-bios/ or follow the hastag #uoftwih.