Visions of feminism collide in the National Assembly

Visions of feminism collide in the National Assembly

Visions of feminism clash at the National Assembly

Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Minister Martine Biron, in discussion with Prime Minister François Legault at the Sommet de la Francophonie, November 20

The vision of feminism held by the office of the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron, differs from that of the opposition parties.

Intersectional feminism, supported by Québec solidaire among others, aims to recognize “all forms of discrimination in society such as age, socio-economic condition, ethnic origin, presence of a disability, sexual orientation and their joint effects,” says MP Ruba Ghazal.

“In movements that think about these issues, there is a consensus,” she adds. “It's really basic.

“This is not our vision of feminism,” said Ms. Biron's office, however, in a statement sent to Devoir.

Ms. Ghazal presented a motion without notice at the Blue Room on Tuesday with the Liberal Party of Quebec and the Parti Québécois, in view of March 8, International Women's Day.

It aimed in particular that the National Assembly encourages “gender-based analysis from an intersectional perspective in order to defend the rights of all women in Quebec”. This is a request from the Collectif 8 mars, which is made up of trade union and feminist organizations.

However, the motion did not receive consent to be debated and was therefore not put to a vote. “We find it unfortunate that we were unable to join the motion,” said the office of the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. He explains that he wanted to withdraw the part concerning intersectionality, but Québec solidaire “refused”.

Martine Biron's cabinet nevertheless assures that it will mark the day of March 8, the “time has come”.

A “feminist engine of resistance”

MP Ruba Ghazal said she was “really shocked” not to have received the support of the CAQ government for her motion.

For Marie-Andrée Gauthier, this gesture is “incomprehensible”. “I think it will be a driver of feminist resistance that the CAQ did not support the motion,” she adds.

She argues that the caquists are showing “willful blindness in relation to the discrimination experienced by women. The latter are not a homogeneous group, she argues.

The motion also sought that Quebec MPs take note that “from generation to generation, in the streets or in the private space, feminists fight every day to have their rights respected”.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Ms. Ghazal stressed the importance of celebrating March 8 in 2023. “Even in Quebec, where we are luckier than elsewhere in the world , feminist struggles are not over, far from it. “

The “boys club” are still legion in Quebec society, she argued. “Notably also in the National Assembly”, she pointed out.

The elected official wishes to introduce a bill soon so that the economic updates and budgets of the Quebec government include a gender-based analysis and from an intersectional perspective.

“It's the term that means that you have to make sure that what you make as a decision, you make sure that it has an impact that does not disadvantage certain people, such as women or minorities,” she explained.