With a provincial election just weeks away, a number Saskatchewan MLAs are concerned that there are too few women running.
The NDP has 13 female candidates in 58 ridings despite passing a resolution in 2008 calling for gender parity in the next election. The ruling Saskatchewan party has just 10.
Laura Ross, provincial minister of government services, said changing those numbers is a worthy goal because women can present different perspectives than their male counterparts.
"I think you end up with a bit more of a wider base coming to the table or ideas that get put on the table," the MLA for Regina Qu'Appelle Valley said.
Often the first step involves getting involved at the local level, she said.
"So that you know they would maybe even consider starting by running for school board because sometimes the little steps create that ‘I can do this, I can do whatever I want’ [mentality]," Ross said.
MLA Danielle Chartier said there is often a false perception that women don’t have a place in politics.
"And the first thing a woman will say to you is, ‘Oh I couldn't do that, or, are you sure?’ or they turn and look [ as if to say:] ‘You're talking to me about that?’" the NDP’s critic for women’s issues said.
Chartier, who represents the Saskatoon Riversdale riding, said more is needed than simply passing a resolution on gender equality.
"You need a strategy and it obviously isn't going to spontaneously happen even if you have the best intentions," she said.
The provincial election is set for Nov. 7.