In the fall, Women & Politics launched a public campaign for equal representation on City Council – to have 50% of councillors identify as women, and 50% identify as men. Since then, we’ve provided media training, a campaign school, a leadership workshop, and networking events to support women in their various leadership roles in the community and to help candidates prepare for their campaigns.
As we move into the depths of election season, here are a few more ways we’re supporting women candidates:
Many people have asked us about endorsing women candidates to support their campaigns. While this seems like a logical next step in our efforts, we choose not to specifically support any local women candidates. This means our board members (who have various political leanings) and our organization will not endorse any specific local candidates.
Why do we do this?
Women & Politics is a citizen-led grassroots organization based in London. We are a non-partisan organization and provide resources and supports to all women. Our mission is to amplify women’s voices in the realm of politics – it is broader than winning elections. It is for women to engage in politics in the way that makes most sense to them. By endorsing candidates, we could alienate supporters of our organization who don’t agree with a candidate’s views. This could end up causing women to be silent on issues that matter to them – the complete opposite result of what we’re working for.
Being non-partisan sometimes means you must be quiet so that all voices can be heard. That doesn’t mean it’s easy; we would love to endorse candidates and drive more political conversations. But we would be doing a disservice to our organization if we chose to endorse local candidates in an election at any level. By remaining non-partisan we are in the strongest position to advocate on issues that affect all women, and to work toward our mission of amplifying all women’s voices.
We look forward to continuing our work and finding new ways to support all women candidates.
Anne-Marie on behalf of the Board of Women & Politics