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First ‘council needs women’ session well attended

council-needs-womenAbout two dozen women showed interest in a drive to encourage more women to run for County Council seats.

They met at the Picton Library meeting room to hear the organizing group discuss goals of electing more women to PEC Council.

Bev Campbell, a councillor, and an organizer of the group says women make up half the population in the County yet just 33 per cent of council is female. She would like to see a better balance.

The group talked about why gender balance in government is important, the advantages and rewards of public service, challenges faced by women candidates and ways to support women candidates. Information was provided on how to register as a candidate -including key dates and actions.

“The organizing group was pleased to see such a good, diverse group of women come out and hope that one or more women candidates will emerge,” said Victoria Leskie, former County clerk, and another of the organizers.

Challenges and potential solutions explored included:
– Time constraints for women with young families or full time jobs
– Youth and gender may result in not being taken seriously
– Perception that you need to be a long-term County resident
– Financial constraints
– Not feeling qualified
– Lack of understanding of the election process
– Lack of knowledge of current issues and process
– The negative public perception of politicians and the fear of being undermined

“This was the first in a series of four sessions,” said Campbell, “They are informal and participants can attend one or all of them. The next one on April 1 will have current and previous women councillors in attendance to talk about their experiences running for and sitting on council. This will answer a lot of questions and hopefully dispel some myths. We hope to keep up the momentum.”

The organizing group includes Bev Campbell, Heather Campbell, Victoria Leskie and Lyndsay Richmond.

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  1. Rightie says:


    Equality does not mean sameness. Some will argue that women and men are different for reasons of socialization. Others will argues that the differences are inherent. Either way, there are differences that come out in governance processes (as well as in other spheres).

    Many women might be quite capable of leading however if the game is such that it goes against the very grain, they may appear to fail but actually got tired and leave, or don’t join in the first place.

  2. Marnie says:

    First we fight for equality, then we suggest that female councillors face different challenges in seeking office and serving on council? There have been some strong successful female candidates in past years including Picton Mayor Margaret Ackerman and Warden Eleanor Lindsay. It was not a question of gender with them but rather one of capability. Man or woman a solid candidate will stand for what he or she believes to be right and serve his or her constituents well. Women who must be coaxed into believing in themselves as candidate material already lack the confidence and determination that the job requires.

  3. Rightie says:

    It’s about time. The system is confrontational and not one with which women are terribly comfortable. It will only change to a more effective process if ordinary women step up and take part. And I am not referring to women who are nothing more than bullies (Thatcher and Marois as examples)

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