The Enemies Within: Feminist Activism in the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party

Oh, oooh, oooooooooooooh!  This is gonna be good!  Not to mention long overdue!  But will the SK NDP learn from it?  Don’t hold your breath!

The Enemies Within: Feminist Activism in the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party

March 19, 3:30 p.m. CL 408, University of Regina

Feminist activists inside political parties play an important role in ensuring that equality issues remain on the party’s agenda. After the Saskatchewan NDP formed government in 1991, equality advocates at the party level suffered from what Iris Marion Young refers to as “internal exclusion.” The rise of neoliberalism has contributed toward a political climate that legitimates intolerance of and hostility toward equality claims. Indeed, despite the NDP’s espoused commitment to egalitarian principles, interviews with 12 members of the NDP women’s committee reveal that the party culture is hostile to internal feminist critiques of party policies and processes. This lecture problematizes inclusion strategies and argues that the Saskatchewan NDP ought to be more open to internal dissent and more receptive to critiques of power relations if it is to adequately address the lived realities of Saskatchewan women.

Jenn Ruddy is a Sessional Lecturer in the Political Science department. She received a SSHRC scholarship for her MA thesis, “From Policy Advisors to the Enemies Within: Feminist Activism in the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party, 1982-2006.”

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