Technocracy or Transformation? Mapping Women’s Policy Agencies and Orienting Gender (In)Equality in the Canadian Provinces

Stephanie Paterson, Patrik Marier, Felix Chu* (2016)
Canadian Public Administration, 59(3): 405-424

→ J.E. Hodgetts Award, presented to the finest article in English appearing in the previous year’s Canadian Public Administration


Canadian gender equality policy has taken a “technocratic turn” that favours bureaucratic expertise to monitor and measure (in)equality rather than participatory and consultative mechanisms. While the processes and impacts of this shift are well documented at the federal level, less is known at the provincial level. This article takes stock of provincial gender equality mechanisms, demonstrating variations in women’s policy agencies (WPAs) across the ten provinces. It then links these variations to the discursive politics of gender equality within each province. We demonstrate that the potential for transformative orientations of gender equality emerges in WPAs with broad consultative mechanisms.