Local groups push for gender parity at Edmonton City Hall

EDMONTON — Momentum is growing to ensure Edmonton achieves gender parity at city hall.

“We want to acknowledge that these amazing women have been here all along, and we need to encourage them a lot to step up to the plate and be the leaders in our community as we see them as,” said Rajah Maggay of Parity YEG.

The organization is instrumental in the quest to bring a stronger female presence to the city’s decision-making table. The group inspires and provides access to supports for women who are interested in leadership roles.

The numbers are strong as we build towards a municipal election this fall. So far, 21 women have already filed their nomination papers to start their campaigns.

In the last century, we’ve only had gender parity once on Edmonton city council.

“People can’t be something they can’t see,” said Katherine O’Neill of the YWCA. “I think we’re on the cusp of change, but it’s going to take a lot of work not just by groups like ours, but community members, people who are voting to say I’m going to check they box to elect more women.”

Right now Edmonton has two women councillors. Edmonton has also never elected a woman of colour. That could also be a barrier we see broken when Edmontonians go to the polls Oct. 18.  

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