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This Politician Quit His Job to Help Make Room For Women

"Sometimes the best way for a man to advance the equality of women may be to step back and make room at the table," said Ted McMeekin. He is resigning his position as an Ontario cabinet minister to help achieve gender parity.
Photo via Facebook

An Ontario cabinet minister announced on Monday that he would be stepping aside in order to make room for women, in an attempt to help his premier meet gender parity in her government.

But given that Ontario's cabinet is just 25 percent female, there's still a long way to go.

Ted McMeekin, a longtime provincial politician and currently the minister of municipal affairs and housing, made the announcement on Facebook, ahead of an anticipated cabinet shuffle in Canada's largest province.


"Like our Prime Minister, I've never been afraid to call myself a feminist. In fact, I've always been proud of being an honorary member of the Women's Caucus, and working for equality," he said in the statement. "But sometimes the best way for a man to advance the equality of women may be to step back and make room at the table. For me, this is such a time."

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made headlines when he unveiled the first federal cabinet that was equal parts men and women. Trudeau has also repeatedly described himself as a feminist and garnered applause for his advocacy directed at men, in particular.

Ontario is led by Kathleen Wynne, the first woman to be elected premier, and the first lesbian. She has said she hopes to hit gender parity in her cabinet, which currently consists of 26 ministers, seven of whom are women.

In his statement, McMeekin noted that his was not an easy decision. "Even with all of my privilege and advantages, there's a part of me that still wants to cry out "this isn't fair." It has caused me some soul searching," he said.

He said he thought about his three daughters, "all confident and accomplished young women," and has looked forward to a day when the question of gender parity would just be taken for granted.

"Ultimately, I support the Premier's leadership in this matter and I want to do what I can to help her achieve it," he said.

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