Calgary city council needs more women in 2017, says new group

Women are drastically underrepresented on Calgary's political scene, but a group of females are gearing up to change that come 2017.

Just 2 of 15 current councillors, or 13 per cent, are female

How a grassroots group is trying to get more women on council in 2017

6 years ago
Duration 2:55
Esmahan Razavi says she wants to see more women's names on Calgary's next municipal ballot.

Women are severely underrepresented in Calgary's political scene, but a group of females is gearing up to change that come 2017.

Of the 15 members currently on Calgary city council, just two are women: Druh Farrell and Diane Colley-Urquhart.

To help right that gender imbalance, a new organization has formed to encourage women to run for municipal politics and to support women who choose to enter the race. 

Co-founder Esmahan Razavi, who is originally from Saudi Arabia, says she "grew up in a part of the world where women don't have the right to vote and are completely excluded from the political process."

That's why it's so important to her to support women in her community.

Kara Levis and Sarah Elder-Chamanara were among some of the attendees at the Ask Her YYC launch event on Sunday, May 7. (Ask Her YYC/Facebook)

"A lot of times, women don't think of themselves as politicians. Usually, women become politicians when they're asked to run. That's why we're called Ask Her," Razavi said.

"We're encouraging everyone to look at the women in their lives and to ask qualified, capable women whether or not they would like to be involved in city council."

Razavi and her four other co-founders are planning a set of fundraisers, the proceeds from which will be equally split among all female candidates registered with the organization.

While Razavi herself said she has no political aspirations at the moment, she's excited to work behind the scenes to get these women elected on Oct. 16, 2017. 

"If women want a viable chance, then they have to start early."

With files from The Homestretch