Every two years, Equal Voice (a multi-partisan organization that advocates for the equal representation of women in politics) invites young females between the ages of 18 to 23 to participate in a dynamic and diverse political leadership program called Daughters of the Vote. They choose one delegate from every federal riding across Canada to represent their community and take their own MP’s seat in Parliament. The objective of this program is to ensure that emerging leaders become familiar with Canada’s political landscape, so they are equipped and inspired to participate in the political sphere and take action in their local communities.
Makboolee Fyith is a student at the University of Alberta, working towards her Doctor of Pharmacy. Makboolee has always had a passion for improving the lives of others, which led her to create a non-profit organization and host events that sponsored proper medical aid in third world countries. She was the former president of the student branch of Diabetes Canada and a director for the National Organization for Rare Disorders in Edmonton. After four years of being a delegate and chairman for the (university level) United Nations and World Health Organization Conferences, she saw an opportunity to channel her passion and influence policy to create systematic change. Makboolee was elected to represent the Peace River-Westlock riding in this year’s DOV program. The main takeaway from her experience at Daughters of the Vote was that being seen at the table is no longer enough; our voices also need to be heard!
Johyna Jarkas recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science and is currently working towards obtaining her Social Work degree at MacEwan University. She is passionate about climate change and global warming, broadening access to education globally, and combating social issues facing Indigenous people. Johyna is an avid volunteer in her community and volunteers with marginalized communities to tackle the problems of inequality and poverty. She sat on the board of the United Nations Association of Canada (Edmonton branch). She was part of the executive team that brought the first-ever Run for Palestine to Edmonton. She runs a weekly Generation of Change program, which empowers youth through social interaction and community service. Johyna was elected to represent the Edmonton Manning riding in this year’s DOV program. She shares that the program reignited her passion for politics and humanitarian work and connected her with like-minded female leaders who share her love and dedication for advocacy.
Amira Shousha is currently a student at the University of Alberta, working towards her Bachelor of Arts. She is passionate about empowering young females in the Muslim community and created the platform Girl Talk, which mentors girls between the ages of 14-17, the more vulnerable years in a girl’s life. She served as an Outreach Coordinator with the Al Rashid Youth Club (RYC), championing their Taste of Kindness Campaign. Earlier this year, she also volunteered with Christina Gray’s political campaign for re-election (as MLA for Edmonton-Mill Woods).
Amira believes we need more women in politics and advocates for the equal representation of women. Amira was elected to represent the Edmonton West riding in this year’s DOV program; she found that the program gave her the boost in confidence she needed to make an even more significant impact in her community.