With one year left until Alberta’s next municipal election, the province’s Status of Women minister wants more women to run for office.
On Oct. 18, 2016, Minister Stephanie McLean is announcing a campaign called #ReadyForHer with a four-city tour to encourage women to turn their passion for community improvement into a campaign for municipal office.
Also launching is a new online resource to help women consider their political potential and start their campaigns. A recent study shows that when women run, they are as successful at winning elections as their male counterparts. Simply put, says the minister, more women need to run.
“Alberta cities and towns need councillors that reflect their communities. Half of Alberta’s population is women, but men hold most of the positions. I want every woman to know Alberta is ready for her to run.”
Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women
Joining the minister in Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Calgary and Lethbridge later this month will be women who have run, won and lost campaigns and who are willing to share their experiences.
“Alberta continues to be a leader when it comes to supporting women to engage in local politics. Bringing this dialogue to the forefront is a stepping stone for creating outcomes for change.”
Lisa Holmes, Mayor of Morinville and President, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association
“Our municipal councils should reflect our community and that means more women. The best way to have more women elected is to get more women to run.”
Bev Esslinger, City of Edmonton Councillor, Ward 2
On this day 87 years ago, five courageous Alberta women, known as the Famous Five ? Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Nelly McClung, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby ? won their case to include women in the legal definition of “persons.” The Persons Case allowed women to become senators in the British Empire and paved the way for women to participate fully in political and public life.
In the 2013 municipal elections, Albertans elected women to 490 of 1,874 positions. That comes to an average of 26 per cent:
- eight per cent in special areas
- 11 per cent in improvement districts
- 17 per cent in municipal districts
- 18 per cent in cities
- 20 per cent in summer villages
- 31 per cent in villages
- 32 per cent in specialized municipalities
- 32 per cent in towns
Female councillors hold the following number of seats in these cities on the #ReadyForHer tour:
- Edmonton: one of 13 positions (eight per cent)
- Medicine Hat: two of nine positions (22 per cent)
- Calgary: two of 15 positions (13 per cent)
- Lethbridge: two of nine positions (22 per cent)
- Edmonton, Oct 18: 5 – 7 p.m.
- Medicine Hat, Oct 20: 7 – 9 p.m.
- Calgary, Oct 24: 7 – 9 p.m.
- Lethbridge, Oct 27: 5 – 7 p.m.
Other tour dates may be added later