Up For Debate 2019


During the 2019 federal election, the Up For Debate Alliance is calling on all federal party leaders to commit to a national televised debate to share their priorities on women’s rights and gender equality.


The leaders of the NDP and the Green Party have pledged to participate, but we’re still waiting on a commitment from the Liberals, the Conservatives, and the Bloc Québécois.


[Image Credit: Taiying Lu]

Take Action Now

Tell the Liberals, Conservatives, and the Bloc Québécois: We DEMAND a Federal Leaders’ Debate on women’s rights and gender equality

The last Federal Leaders’ Debate on women’s issues in Canada was on August 14, 1984 – 35 years ago now.

And yet, women, trans, non-binary, and two-spirit people in Canada still face many of the same barriers today, including:

  • Skyrocketing child care costs;
  • Persistently high rates of gender-based violence;
  • Lack of affordable housing;
  • Substantial gender wage gaps;
  • Precarious work and low wages;
  • Responsibility for the lion’s share of under or unpaid care work; 
  • Poor and inconsistent access to abortion, contraception and other sexual rights;
  • Criminalization and regulation of bodily autonomy;
  • Lack of health, social, legal and other institutional support for women who experience or are at risk of homelessness; 
  • Targeted violence, social and racial profiling from institutions and state actors; and
  • Little stability and funding for women’s organizations and social movements.

August 14, 2019 marks 35 years since our last leaders’ debate on women’s issues. We’re done waiting.

Take action today! Tell the Liberals, Conservatives, and the Bloc that gender equality and women’s rights will be on your mind when you head to the polls. 



Up for Debate Mobilization Toolkit

Who We Are


Up for Debate 2019 is a campaign coordinated by an alliance of women’s rights and gender equality advocates from across Canada. We are dedicated to organizing on principles of human rights, equality, and inclusion.


Interested in joining us? Contact Jackie Hall at jhall@canadianwomen.org for more information.


[Image Credit: Zackary Drucker, The Gender Spectrum Collection]

Why We Are Up For Debate

Up For Debate 2019 is calling on all federal party leaders to participate in a national televised debate on women’s rights and gender equality. 

Our objectives are: 

  • To get a televised federal leaders’ debate on women’s and gender equality issues;
  • To ensure that women’s rights and gender equality are prominent during the 2019 federal election;
  • To mobilize and unite women’s rights and gender equality advocates across Canada in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election; 
  • To equip communities with tools and resources to organize local events; and
  • To ensure that all federal party leaders clearly articulate their policy positions on women’s rights and gender equality. 

Up for Debate 2019 is advocating for federal leadership to create a world where social movements and women’s rights organizations are supported, poverty is eliminated, and women, trans, non-binary, and Two Spirit people live free from violence. 

We want all federal party leaders to tell Canadians what their positions are on women’s and gender equality issues.

Our Alliance


The Alliance for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and Endorsers of the 2019 Up For Debate Campaign include:

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
Amnesty International Canada
Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform
Canada Without Poverty
Campaign 2000
Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Canadian Council of Muslim Women
Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Federation of Nurses Union
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Women’s Foundation
Child Care Now
Conseil Québécois LGBT
DisAbled Women’s Association of Canada
Equal Pay Coalition
Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)
Fédération des Femmes du Québec
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses
Oxfam Canada
SEIU Canada
Women Shelters Canada
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
YWCA Canada
West Coast Leaf

[Image Credit: Melany Rochester]