by Eric Greenway, Managing Director of Advancement at the YWCA Regina
On March 22, 2012, sixteen women gathered in the living room of a Regina home to wrestle with how to increase the representation of women in political office, with a focus on the October Regina municipal election. The group included a current MLA; leaders from business, education, labour and the arts; former and potential political candidates; and YWCA staff and volunteers.
The conversation was lively, non-partisan, and pragmatic. The moderator pointed out that advancing the leadership of women and girls has been a core concern of the global YWCA movement over its 150-year history. As well as curbing the voices and concerns of women, the under-representation of women in government sends a powerful implied message to youth that men are more suited to leadership. In contrast, when women are empowered as decision-makers, they influence public policy in positive ways.