Local leaders encourage more women to get political

By Sarah Rae
November 10, 2016 - 2:18pm

According to North Battleford political leaders, it’s important to involve women in all levels of politics to have a full conversation about various issues.

Only two women are on the 10-person Living Sky School Division school board, board chair Ronna Pethick and trustee Tracie Heintz.

Pethick said it’s necessary to have a mixture of men and women in leadership positions.

“I think it's vital that women get involved, because they do bring a different perspective and I think it's fair that both men and women have input into the future and decisions in our school divisions, our cities and towns, and our province,” she said.

Elsewhere in the Battlefords area, councillor Kelli Hawtin was the sole woman elected to North Battleford’s six-person city council and only three of 15 candidates were women.

Hawtin said although she’s seen more women on councils, such as in Battleford and Saskatoon, it’s still difficult for women and girls to be encouraged to get interested in politics when they don’t see people like them in those positions

“I think it starts with girls just seeing that women can do these roles,” she said. “Girls will see it as normal, as mainstream, as a career or something that they can get involved with.”

She said having family-friendly workplaces will also encourage women to enter the workforce.

Hawtin is expected to give birth in a few weeks and she said she thinks her colleagues on city council will accommodate her, whether by allowing her to Skype into a meeting during her recovery or possibly bringing the baby to work.

Across the river in the Town of Battleford half of the council is women, with Susan McLean Tady, Shelley Boutin-Gervais and Judy Pruden taking their seats.

 

Sarah Rae is battlefordsNOW's court and crime reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or tweet her @sarahjeanrae.

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