PLACE AUX FEMMES EN POLITIQUE
Marie-Noëlle Lanthier, conseillère à la Municipalité de La Nation (à gauche), est une parmi une poignée d’élues municipales dans Prescott-Russell. À l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la femme et en cette année d’élections, nous les avons interrogées.
In light of International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, and considering this is an election year at both municipal and provincial levels, la Compagnie edition André Paquette Inc. caught up with some of the region’s female municipal councillors to discuss what it means to be a woman in politics today.
Krysta Simard is a municipal councillor for Clarence-Rockland and Cindy Saucier sits on the Russell Township council. Both women are serving their first mandates on their respective councils.
Although both have had positive experiences thus far, Simard and Saucier are also both aware of the challenges, and the significance brought on by being a woman in politics.
Of the 52 elected officials on municipal councils in PrescottRussell, 13 are women. Only one of them Jeanne Charlebois of Hawkesbury, is the mayor.
“It would be nice if there were more women in politics,” said Simard. “If we want change that reflects how women feel, we must step up.”
“I do feel there is a certain importance to having women in politics. We can bring another perspective on certain issues,” added Saucier.
Although both have described their experiences in politics as smooth, both women are no strangers to the level of effort required to fit into what some consider to be a boys’ club.
“I’m younger, I’m a female, as well as a ‘newbie’ to politics. One of the challenges is being taken seriously,” said Simard.
Simard specifically recounts certain instances where questions about her ward were directed at the man standing next to her instead. “Women in politics, as well as in the work force in general, are juggling a lot and the respect isn’t always given about how much we actually get accomplished in a day.”
Saucier also knows what it feels like to be the newbie on the block, serving her first mandate. “Sometimes people may not take you seriously or think you are suitable to a position in politics,” she admitted. “I do not feel gender is an issue really. If you are serious about the job, you will work hard and deserve the same respect as your male counterparts.”
Whereas Simard can sometimes feel her age to be a disadvantage, Saucier believes her age is an asset. “I am also a senior woman, so maybe life experience has something to do with my decision making or how I respond to political decisions.”
She continued, “I hear the information and I try to make informed decisions. They may be based on ethics, morals […] or what I feel is best for this community, and if that is because I am a woman, then I am comfortable with that.”
“Sometimes people may not take you seriously or think you are suitable to a position in politics,” she admitted. “I do not feel gender is an issue really. If you are serious about the job, you will work hard and deserve the same respect as your male counterparts.”
Dans le cadre de la Journée internationale de la femme, le jeudi 8 mars, la Compagnie d’édition André Paquette Inc. a rencontré des conseillères municipales de la région pour discuter de ce que signifie être une femme en politique aujourd’hui.
À gauche : Krysta Simard termine cette année son premier mandat au conseil municipal de Clarence-Rockland. À droite : Cindy Saucier termine cette année premier mandat au conseil municipal de Russell.