100 years of women on Winnipeg city council
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This article was published 05/04/2021 (786 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In March, we marked International Women’s Day and challenged ourselves to achieving an equal future.
In many ways, the global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted gaps that we need to close together as quickly as possible. As we see the ways in which COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women economically, we should realize how important it is to take intentional actions supporting women. Appropriately, this year the United Nations declared the theme for International Women’s Day to be Women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
I’d like to recognize and thank the women who have been elected to public office and are leading in government at all levels, as well as the many women community leaders committed to making a difference.
On March 8, a City Hall display celebrating a century of women in Winnipeg civic government was unveiled. This project was led by Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan), who is also the speaker of city council, and I appreciate her taking the time to put together this important initiative. History highlights the growth we’ve made in increasing representation and diversity, but we are far behind where we should be.
In 1921, Winnipeg’s first woman councillor, Jessie Kirk, was inaugurated. Since then, there have been 33 women who have served on city council. In our history, Winnipeg has seen over 450 men serve in the same role. This is an enormous gap.
Similar gaps exist in many other sectors, including business and science. It is our collective responsibility to make progress. We should elevate more examples of women trailblazers.
To read more about Coun. Jessie Kirk, please visit www.winnipeg.ca/ourstories/2020/201203.stm and to learn more about the display unveiled at city hall, click here: www.winnipeg.ca/ourstories/2021/210308.stm
As joyful as it is to see women celebrated like this on International Women’s Day, progress cannot be made unless we take every day as an opportunity for positive change. While it’s important to dedicate a time in our calendar to mark the progress we’ve made and reflect upon the road ahead, our actions should be year-round.
In short, every day is women’s day. I know this has been said by many people, and I strongly agree.
Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood ward report
Kevin Klein is the city councillor for Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood.