Nominations for the New Brunswick municipal elections are now open, and Femmocracy Now hopes Metro Moncton will see more women on the ballot.
Formed in November, the group aims to encourage women in Riverview, Moncton and Dieppe to run for office, said spokesperson Amélie Bryar.
The organization has also been tracking declarations made online or information gleaned through various networks, and reaching out to women who say they are running to connect them with the organization, along with volunteers to help them succeed, Bryer said.
“The biggest hope for the organization is to see women run in every ward,” she said.
The organization estimates there are currently four wards in Riverview, four wards in Moncton and six wards in Dieppe which do not yet have a woman as a candidate.
The organization will hold a meet-and-greet for women candidates on Saturday, to be held virtually, Bryar said. It is a chance for attendees to meet candidates and vice versa and the hope is that some may volunteer with campaigns, she said.
“Just the fact that we need to exist shows we don’t have gender equity yet,” said Bryar, while noting that the response to the events, resources shared and the organization itself has been positive.
The organization also held a “campaign camp” over four days earlier in the year to teach skills like how to market yourself, how to make your voice heard as well as speaking about what the role entails, she said.
Women do face challenges as they look to run, Bryar said. Women are still doing more of the caregiving work and may have less clear pathways to finance their campaigns, among other barriers, she said.
Movie nights featuring discussions about politics, and opportunities to hear from veteran female politicians like Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold are also cornerstones of the new organization, she said.
Former women politicians at various levels of government, as well as former and current candidates for office have already been active with the organization.
Admission to Saturday's event is free, but those interested must RSVP. Candidates can email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate they would like to participate and others can RSVP through Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/femmocracy-now-31718625973
Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal