They may make up only 18 of the 55 members (there are two vacancies) in the Manitoba legislature, but it can be argued that never have women played so prominent a role in the provincial government.
Women hold three of the most important positions in cabinet – finance (Rosann Wowchuk), health (Theresa Oswald) and education (Nancy Allan) – and eight seats in Greg Selinger’s inner circle overall.
The departments the eight women run now represent more than 70 per cent of core government spending.
As well, for the first time in history, both the government and Opposition House leaders – who steer the business of the legislature -- are women (Jennifer Howard from the NDP and Mavis Taillieu of the PCs).
In addition to having their first female House leader in Taillieu, the Tories have women assigned to such key critic positions as health (Myrna Driedger) and finance (Heather Stefanson).
Of the 18 women in the legislature, 13 are NDPers, while five are Conservatives.
But are women close to achieving parity in the legislature? It doesn’t appear so. A quick scan of nominated candidates for the two main parties for the coming provincial election suggests the situation won’t change a great deal after Oct 4.