If you can say anything about Canada’s new PM, he certainly has made an impression on women voters. A new survey of over 8,000 Quebecers proves this, as it found that women and young people (aged 18 – 24) were amongst the biggest fans of Justin Trudeau.
The poll found that while 55 per cent of Quebecers approved of Trudeau’s work so far, that number was higher amongst women than men — with 58 per cent of women reporting that they felt “satisfied” with what Trudeau has accomplished in his first 100 days in office.
And why is Trudeau popular with women? Because he’s done the following things:
1. Trudeau is proud to call himself a feminist
Trudeau isn’t afraid of the F-word, which no politician should be in 2016. He’s called himself a feminist many times, crediting his mother for his feminist education: “My mom raised me to be a feminist,” explained Trudeau this fall at an Up For Debate event. “My father raised me — he was a different generation — but he raised me to respect and defend everyone’s rights, and I deeply grounded my own identity in that, and I am proud to say that I am a feminist.”
2. Trudeau’s calls for a diverse cabinet
When a journalist asked Trudeau why it was important to have a gender-balanced cabinet, he replied, “Because it’s 2015.” While Trudeau has since been criticized for not having enough visible minorities in his cabinet, he has at the very least opened dialogue about the lack of representation of women and minorities in Canadian government.
His move sparked international attention, with media outlets like the U.S. politics publication Politico Magazine questioning, “If Canada can have have a half-female cabinet, why can’t we?” And those are the types of conversations we need to be having this year, which we hope will inspire some real action.
3. Trudeau’s strong partnership with his wife
Many Canadians have fallen in love with Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, so our PM can thank her for some of his approval ratings. Over 60 per cent of Quebecers polled said they felt positively about Grégoire. Just this week at the World Economic Forum, Trudeau gave his wife props for giving him a lesson in feminism: “I’m incredibly proud to have a partner in my wife, Sophie, who is extremely committed to women’s and girls’ issues.” He added that Grégoire took him aside and told him it was important to talk to his sons — not just his daughter — about feminism and how they treat women so they grow up to be a feminists “just like Dad.”
4. Trudeau’s stance on missing and murdered Aboriginal women
Our former PM Stephen Harper may have been hesitant to launch an inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, but not Trudeau. Speaking at an Assembly of First Nations gathering in December, he opened up investigation into the tragic fates of these women. “The victims deserve justice, their families an opportunity to heal and to be heard,” said Trudeau. “We must work together to put an end to this ongoing tragedy.”
5. Trudeau’s move to extend parental leave
Trudeau has called out for extended parental leave, giving parents 18 months off work with benefits. “The workplace has changed, the families have changed, and it’s up to the Canadian government to catch up,” Trudeau said when he pitched the idea of extending parental leave back in August.
6. He’s not afraid to be pro-choice
Back when he was campaigning, anti-choice activists criticized Trudeau, saying that a vote for him was a vote for abortion. And Trudeau’s response to that was really refreshing: “I am perfectly comfortable with Canadians knowing that the Liberal Party is unequivocal in its defence of women’s rights,” he said. “We are the party of the Charter. We are the party that stands up for people’s rights. We will continue to do so.”
Given that he’s been in office for only 100 days, let’s hope Trudeau lives up to all his strong words. Because so far, we like what we hear.