For the past 10 years, a group of women has put on a Women’s Municipal Campaign School to encourage women to run for public office. The group includes local politicians, representatives from Zonta, the Multi-cultural Centre, YW, Elementary School Teachers and Girl Guides.
The number of women politicians has increased in Waterloo Region but there is still a need for more women to run. We aren’t at 50% yet. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities notes that presently the following is true about women municipal politicians:
The United Nations defines 30% as the minimal percentage of women required for government to reflect women’s concerns.
Women in Canada represent 18 per cent of mayors and 28 per cent of councillors, for an average of 26 percent. In absolute terms, of 24,113 elected officials, 5,926 are women. Based on current statistics Canada would need 1,408 more women in elected office today to reach the 30 per cent target.
That means increasing the number of women in municipal government by roughly 100 every year over the next 14 years.
The next municipal election is in 2018. Over the years, we have had Premier Wynne (before she was premier), NDP leader Andrea Horwath (before she was leader) and MPP Christine Elliott who ran for the Provincial Conservative leadership.