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PART 6: Enough

Listener Warning: This episode contains disturbing language and descriptions of violence that is not suitable for all listeners. If you find these subjects triggering, support and resources are available at https://www.ywcaofedmonton.org/crisis-information/. Please take care of yourself.

This chapter of the Searching For Izena Project is dark, ugly and, quite frankly, depressing. From the very beginning of this year-long campaign, our team of volunteers and researchers have been committed to confronting this topic head-on: the prevalence and very real problem of hate, threats and abuse directed towards women politicians. Not only do women face a never-ending stream of toxic abuse and harassment when they run for office, but also when they hold political power. It helps explain one of the reasons why so few women have served at Edmonton City Hall in the last century. It’s a long-standing problem that has existed since women first entered the political arena more than a century ago, and the message is always the same: ‘You are not worthy. You are not welcome here. Leave!’. In Part 6 called ‘Enough’, we expose some of the deeply troubling cases of abuse and threats some former women Edmonton City Councillors faced while they served (most were never made public until now), and we also issue an urgent call to action: Enough already! Let’s pull together as a community and end the vitrol, hate and abuse directed towards women politicians. This is a solvable challenge (lots of promising initiatives are already underway) and we hope this episode shines a bright light on the problem and inspires real and lasting change. 

Guests: Shirley Lowe, Dr. Angelia Wagner, Lana Cuthbertson, Kasey Machin