Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More women in politics

At last night's council meeting there was a Notice of Motion around the issue of needing more women in politics to reflect the 50/50 ratio of men to women in our population.

One of the male councillors objected to the clause that said that the town would strive to address barriers that impede women's participation in our communities. He went on to say that he doesn't believe there are any barriers.

Well, that statement raised my hackles. A question raised on my Facebook page speaks to the lack of involvement by the new residents to town - why aren't they getting involved in the community? We're a community so dependent on volunteers that our tax rate would skyrocket without those volunteers.

I asked of this councillor: how about the lack of affordable daycare for many? how about the responsibility of raising children which usually falls on the woman's shoulders? the single parent with children?

I'm not saying that men don't share in that responsibility but it's the woman who physically USUALLY looks after the house, the children, the meals, etc. along with a full time job in a great many instances.

An entreƩ to politics is via community volunteering - groups, committees, organizations. The members of these groups are participating in the raising of other people's kids - helping in the schools, sports, Guides and Scouts, fundraising groups, and countless other groups. Do those people, who send their kids out to events and activities, realize that the volunteers at these events are just as busy as those other parents?

Somehow, we have to "strive to remove those barriers that are an impediment to women's participation in the community and in politics". We need a balance throughout the community - on committees, on council and in our parliaments.

We can't just sit back and wait. We all have to get involved; help each other, teach and learn from each other.
Winston Churchill said: "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give".

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