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Are the left’s failures pushing women voters to the right?

In brief

  • Financial unrest and economic instability, in several countries, have disproportionately impacted women.
  • Many women feel that left-leaning parties have overemphasised progressive policies, especially around gender and identity politics. 
  • Many women believe this undermines traditional gender roles and women’s spaces. 
  • This has led to a backlash, with women supporting parties that uphold conservative social values and prioritise sex-based rights.

Women shifting away

After years of unfulfilled social, cultural and economic promises by identitarians, some women voters, globally, are shifting away from left-leaning parties. 

Financial unrest and broken promises

In Canada and New Zealand, despite gender parity gimmicks in government, many women are disproportionately impacted by rising living costs, stagnant wages and poor economic policies. 

Female voters in Canada are frustrated with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, perceiving his centre-left government policies have led to economic instability. Similar sentiments are observed in other countries. French women have shifted significantly towards the far-right, with Marine Le Pen’s National Rally seeing a notable increase in female support. 

A recent OpinionWay poll for Les Echos showed 33% of French women now support the National Rally (RN), compared to 30% of men. This marks a 12% point rise among women since 2019.

RN party leader Jordan Bardella has emphasised his commitment to protecting women’s rights and ensuring their safety. His party’s platform also addresses broader issues like health, employment, and living conditions, appealing to female voters.

Identity overload

Many women feel that left-leaning parties have gone too far in their pursuit of progressive policies, particularly around gender and identity politics. 

The backlash against the Labour Party in the UK over its stance on transgender rights, as criticised by author JK Rowling, illustrates this point. 

Women concerned about the impact of these policies on traditional gender roles and women’s spaces are turning to parties that promise to uphold more conservative social values.

The Women’s Rights Party in New Zealand, formed by respected ex-Labour member and trade unionist Jill Ovens,  argues that all political parties are neglecting protections for women while advancing rights based on gender identity, potentially endangering women’s rights.

The party, formed after a violent incident during Kelly Jay Keen’s visit to New Zealand, in March 2023, seeks to protect women’s sex-based rights and challenge mainstream party positions. Women’s Rights aims to provide an option for disillusioned voters from other parties.

Age divide in right-leaning female voters

In New Zealand, there is growing support for the National/ACT/NZ First coalition among older women. Younger women (18 – 49 yrs) still predominantly support the Labour/Greens/Maori coalition.

Education and parental rights

In the US, there is growing concern among women about the state’s role in education, with some feeling that left-leaning parties are pushing agendas that infringe on parental rights. 

In New Zealand, more than one third of women support a prohibition on primary schools teaching any sexual issues. Nearly half support banning puberty blockers hormones, and sexchange surgeries for under 18s, while nearly two thirds do not support allowing boys who identify as girls on girls sports teams.

These concerns drive women to support parties that advocate for greater parental control over education and oppose what they see as indoctrination in schools.

Healthcare and family policies

Healthcare and family policies, including healthcare access, family support policies and childcare, remain crucial issues. The perception that left-leaning parties have failed to deliver effective solutions in these areas is fuelling the shift right.

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