News release

Wanted: More Women MLAs

More women MLAs are needed in Nova Scotia, says Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

"In the last House, there were five women members," said Ms. Doyle-Bedwell. That compared with 43 men; five seats were vacant at dissolution.

"When you consider that women make up more than half of the population of the province --51 per cent --it's obvious that women do not have a proportionately representative voice in the provincial legislature."

Ms. Doyle-Bedwell said more women MLAs would bring more of the women's perspective to all issues facing Nova Scotia's decision-makers and would probably accelerate progress on women's issues.

"Women's economic security, women's health, and violence against women, for example, are issues that women MLAs cannot ignore," she said. "And the more women MLAs, the stronger and louder the voice."

Ms. Doyle-Bedwell said that with the provincial election weeks away, Nova Scotia women should give consideration to fair representation in the legislature, both as voters and as potential candidates in ridings still open.

"I know there are a great many capable, competent women out there who could do a good job in the legislature representing the people of their respective ridings and injecting the women's perspective in debate and decision-making," she said. "I encourage women who may be so inclined to think about stepping into the role of candidate. It could make a big difference."

Ms. Doyle-Bedwell is also encouraging voters to look hard at their candidates and their positions on women's issues before casting their ballots.

"Nova Scotians should be voting for the candidate who understands women's issues and is committed to advancing women's equality."

-30-

Contact:

Patricia Doyle-Bedwell
Chair Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women 902-424-8662
sab                       Feb. 25, 1998            10:30 a.m.