POLITICS

N.B. moves toward gender equality in politics

08/21/2012 05:48 EDT | Updated 10/21/2012 05:12 EDT
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is holding New Brunswick up as an example of progress toward gender equality in politics.

New Brunswick is one of only two provinces in Canada meeting the United Nations' target for representation of women on municipal councils, said FCM president Karen Leibovici.

New Brunswick and British Columbia recently reached the 30 per cent goal, she said.

Earlier this year, before the spring municipal election, the federation offered workshops for women interested in municipal politics.

The workshops covered a range of issues, including how to organize a campaign team, how to get votes by going door to door, networking, handling media interviews and overall strategies.

Of the women who participated in the New Brunswick workshops, 44 per cent ran for municipal election and 74 per cent of them won seats.

In fact, women made history in New Brunswick cities, towns and villages during the May election, with some being elected the first female mayor of their local councils, and elected women outnumbering men in some ridings.

Of the 1,068 municipal candidates across the province, 777 were men (72.7 per cent) and 291, women (27.2 per cent).

Nineteen women were elected as mayors (18.1 per cent) and 168 as councillors (31.6 per cent), according to Elections New Brunswick.

That's an increase over the past two elections, statistics show.

In 2008, there were 16 female mayors elected (15.4 per cent) and 150 councillors (28.6 per cent).

In 2004, New Brunswick had 13 women elected as mayors (12.7 per cent) and 131 successful female council candidates (24.9 per cent).