Boot camp aims to prep women to run for office

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A packed house at the legislature Saturday will be full of women aiming at winning a city council seat or taking a leading role in a political campaign.

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This article was published 26/01/2018 (1665 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A packed house at the legislature Saturday will be full of women aiming at winning a city council seat or taking a leading role in a political campaign.

“Our focus is to get as many women involved in politics as possible,” Equal Voice Manitoba co-chairwoman Kiersten McDonald said in an interview Thursday.

“We want to see more women run, and more women get elected.”

“We want to be sure they’re walking in with their eyes wide open,” said McDonald, who is also executive assistant to Speaker Myrna Driedger.

“It’s an amazing networking opportunity.”

Saturday’s municipal boot camp will focus on October’s city council election.

Another boot camp will be held before the fall for school board candidates, and federal campaign and provincial campaign boot camps will be held before each election, said McDonald, who co-chairs the event with Delaney Coelho.

Sessions will focus on campaign finances, management, communications, public speaking and dealing with the media.

“In all of the sessions, speakers are free to speak to what they think a woman needs to know when running as a candidate or running a campaign behind the scenes. We leave it up to the guest speakers to prepare their presentations and discuss topics freely. Questions from the audience are encouraged,” she said.

A morning panel will feature Winnipeg city councillors Jenny Gerbasi, Cindy Gilroy, Janice Lukes and Devi Sharma. That will be closed to the media so the councillors can speak candidly, McDonald said.

“I congratulate Equal Voice for putting on this boot camp,” Driedger said.

“These types of events are critically important to tell women that they are needed in politics and how to get there. Having more women involved in politics strengthens the debate and decision-making.

“Despite women making up over 50 per cent of the population, we are very underrepresented in politics. This needs to change and I am very committed to helping change these numbers by supporting and encouraging events like this boot camp,” Driedger said.

Saturday’s boot camp is sold out at 80 participants. Equal Voice Manitoba is part of a national campaign dedicated to electing more women to political office across Canada.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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