toronto gender parity

Gender parity could soon be mandated for City of Toronto boards

Women are underrepresented in government, and new policies are needed to increase gender parity, according to a mayoral race candidate. 

Jennifer Keesmaat, former chief city planner, announced plans today to increase the representation of women in the halls of Toronto's municipal government. 

"We’re at our strongest as a city when we all have an equal say in the decisions being made on our behalf," Keesmaat said in a press conference. 

Keesmaat's policies would include gender-responsive budgeting, a gender parity requirement on all boards, and equal gender representation in public service staffing positions. 

According to the United Nations, gender-responsive budgeting "seeks to ensure that the collection and allocation of public resources is carried out in ways that are effective and contribute to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment."

The former city planner also explained that the recent halving of Toronto City Hall may lead to less women on council, which poses a problem. 

"While the recent cuts to Council will almost certainly reduce the number of women elected as councillors, there are immediate actions we can take to make sure women have a voice at City Hall and beyond."

Lead photo by

Leo Li


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