Broader diversity on city council will make for better decisions. That’s the philosophy of Equal Voice, whose Alberta North chapter is taking steps to get women to make up half of the candidates in next October’s municipal election.
Lana Cuthbertson Chairs the local branch of Equal Voice, and she’s hoping for better than women making up just half of the candidate base.
“Typically we see around 20 or 25 per cent these days of the seats in our elected offices held by women, and since women are 50 per cent of the population we’re hoping that they can hold 50 per cent of the seats.”
Cuthbertson says while men will more often take the initiative and throw their hats in the ring, women need to be asked.
“Most women who I’ve talked to who have run for office often have been asked by someone to run, and not just once, several times. So that’s one of the reasons that our group is specifically focusing around asking more women to run, and so that’s the way we’re hoping to achieve our goals.”
To date five women have declared their candidacy out of a total 21 announced candidates. Edmonton only one woman sitting on council, Coun. Bev Esslinger. In the 2013 vote women made up only 21 percent of the candidate base with five of the 12 wards having no female candidates at all.