Up North

Sudbury teacher forms group for northern Ontario woman politicians

A Sudbury schoolteacher has started “Politics Now,” a group that encourages women to get more involved in politics in the north.

Amanda Kingsley Malo started Politics Now to encourage more women to pursue political careers in the north

Amanda Kingsley Malo plans on tackling the lack of parity in municipal politics. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

A Sudbury, Ont. school teacher has formed her own organization hoping to get more women in northern Ontario interested in running for political roles.

Amanda Kingsley Malo said she was inspired after seeing Daughters of the Vote —  338 young women representing every electoral riding in Canada — sitting in the House of Commons for International Women's Day.

Kingsley Malo said she hoped to connect with political networking groups around the region, but found out there weren't any.

So Equal Voice, a group that helps female political leaders in bigger centres like Toronto and Ottawa, encouraged her to start one.

Click here to listen to the founder of Politics Now explain why she wanted a group for women in politics specifically in northern Ontario.

Kingsley Malo's first target: tackling the lack of parity in municipal politics.

"What we're hoping to do is give women a place where they can find other people who are going to support eliminating the divide in municipal politics," she said.

Kingsley Malo said in northern Ontario's nine largest cities, only Elliot Lake has an equal number of men and women on city council.

"That could be replicated in northern Ontario. We just have to go for it."

Young women often not encouraged into politics

As a school teacher, Kingsley Malo said she was also inspired to create the organization from working with preteens.

"I find already that they've been told that [politics] is something they either shouldn't be bothered with, or that it's not important to them right now, which is really unfortunate."

Kingsley Malo said women in northern Ontario are also facing unique issues when it comes to getting involved in politics.

"There's not much support for women who want to run municipally. They have less opportunity to be inspired by women on city councils, and less opportunity to see them on TV."

Find Kingsley Malo's group on Twitter @northonwomen.

With files from Marina von Stackelberg

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