The experiences of female Members of the Legislative Assembly in Nova Scotia

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Errington, Lori
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The Nova Scotia Legislature is Canada‟s oldest House of Assembly, dating back to 1758 (Nova Scotia Legislature, 2011). In its entire history, 31 women have been elected to the House of Assembly. Political analysts and supporters of women‟s equal representation in government are trying to encourage more women to run for political office in Nova Scotia. However, little attention has been given to the atmosphere that waits for women once they are elected. The research question of this thesis asks how female Members of the Legislative Assembly experience the communications atmosphere in the Nova Scotia Legislature. To determine this, I apply feminist communication theory and feminist organizational theory to data collected through feminist participatory qualitative interviews with current and former female members of the Nova Scotia Legislature. The thesis concludes that while women have made some gains in the political sphere in Nova Scotia, they still encounter a male-dominated, largely unwelcoming atmosphere when they are elected to the House of Assembly.