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Janet McFarland (Deborah Baic)
Janet McFarland (Deborah Baic)

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Where are the female politicians? Add to ...

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In the House of Commons, women comprise 22 per cent of elected representatives. That puts Canada at 47th in the world for the proportion of women in its national parliament, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, behind many poor or troubled countries that could make better excuses for a lack of diversity than Canadians can.

The situation is no better at the provincial and municipal levels, where women represent 23 per cent of elected members.

Why is it so difficult to attract, recruit and elect women to politics? What barriers prevent women from joining Canada's political ranks.

The Globe's Janet McFarland pointed to some of the problems in Monday's editorial The hurdle to leap in the next election . The long hours, frequent travel, high profile, and confrontational nature of the job are only worsened by the current political climate, she writes. "Rude, frat-boy antics have become the norm in politics, particularly at the federal level ... Imagine going to work anywhere else and facing such shamefully disrespectful treatment. It is almost unthinkable."

Janet McFarland will join us live Tuesday at noon ET to take your questions on the subject and the editorial. Join the discussion at that time. You can also leave a question for Ms. McFarland in advance through our comment function.

Janet McFarland joined The Globe and Mail's Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, compensation and securities regulation. In 2002, Janet was instrumental in launching the Globe's Board Games project, an annual review of corporate governance practices of Canada's largest companies.

During her tenure at the Globe, Janet has written extensively on issues of governance, leadership, women in business and executive compensation. She also covers securities industry regulation and enforcement, including activities of the Ontario Securities Commission. From 2000 to 2005, Janet wrote a weekly business column focused on corporate governance issues. During 2001, Janet was a member of the Globe's editorial board, and has continued to occasionally contribute to the board since that time.

Janet was born in Saskatchewan and received a journalism degree from Carleton University. She also completed a graduate diploma in international relations at The London School of Economics. In 1999, Janet was awarded a one-year Southam Fellowship to study Canadian political, social and economic history at the University of Toronto. Before joining The Globe and Mail, Janet worked as a news reporter at The Winnipeg Free Press and as a business reporter at The Financial Post. She has received a number of awards for her work. She and two colleagues from The Globe and Mail were awarded the 1997 National Newspaper Award for business reporting for their coverage of the Bre-X Minerals fraud. Janet and two colleagues were nominated for an NNA in business reporting in 2003 for work on Board Games.

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