Women Politicians and Adult Education and Learning in British Columbia
Keywords:feminist adult education, women politicians, informal learning, nonformal education, British Columbia
The lack of participation of women in electoral politics is a problem of justice, equity and democracy. Although feminist scholars have explored this phenomenon from a variety of angles, few have focussed on the education and learning dimensions. Using a feminist approach that included individual interviews, focus groups and observations at two training programmes, our two-year study uncovered how women in British Columbia were educated or learned to be or become politicians. Findings show a complex web of practical, transformational or feminist learning, media relations and communications, knowledge and power, passion and subservience, neutrality and normativity. We argue that this complex web of powerful, problematic and often, contradictory practices contributes to but also impedes women’s political empowerment and thereby, substantive political change.
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