The United Nations has a benchmark. It’s a threshold of women in power that is needed for our issues, our needs, to be properly addressed in policy and decision making. This minimum representation is 30 per cent. In Canada, on average, whether you are looking at municipal, provincial, or federal levels of government, women only make up 25 per cent of our elected officials. In Canada, we are not meeting a minimum requirement in our government to ensure women’s issues are adequately represented.
When policy and decisions are made without us, they can not be informed by the realities of womanhood. By the realities and the lived experiences of my sisters who are not just women, but Indigenous women, Black women, immigrant women, women with disabilities, Queer Women, Trans Women, and two-spirited. Our voices – your voices – are needed. They are required.
To help us meet the minimum requirement in our government (we’re at 26% at the municipal level in London right now), we’re challenging you to ask 3 women to run for office. Women need to be asked 3 times more often than men before they will put their names forward for a nomination, so it’s important to ask – and to keep asking if women need time to consider running. Please make sure that they are women that you would be comfortable supporting in an election – whether that’s with your time, your money or your talent. We need to not only ask more women to run, but support them when they choose to run.
We all know brilliant women – every single one of us knows someone who would make a fantastic political leader. If we ask her, and then ask her again – if we take this on together as a community, as one way we can make a tangible difference – we will not only encourage more women to run, we will see better representation at our political tables and we all know that better representation leads to better policy, and better policy makes a better city, province and country.
Think of all the brilliant, passionate, loving women in your lives, and think about how much better our city or province would be with her in a position of power and influence. And then #AskHer to run.