The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters is launching its 2017 Municipal elections campaign: #LiftHerUp. The campaign was created by directors of Alberta’s forty-one women’s shelters in 2016, responding to violent and hateful chants outside the Alberta Legislature. The campaign is a call to action to end sexist and violent language and behaviours towards women in public life – during and beyond the upcoming municipal elections.
Speaking at the Edmonton launch Executive Director of ACWS Jan Reimer said,
Sadly, sexist bullying is all too common in political life. We want politics to be a safe and welcoming space where everyone is able to make their point about issues that concern them. We hope the campaign will encourage more women to participate in politics.
The #LiftHerUp campaign asks candidates in the upcoming municipal and school-board elections to sign a commitment to uphold the highest standards of behaviour both during and after the election.
Jan Reimer continued,
By signing this commitment candidates will demonstrate that they are leaders on the question of building a more inclusive and fairer society. We also hope that citizens will encourage their candidates to sign up, as well as call out sexist behaviour they witness. Leadership against sexism is needed from both citizens and candidates alike. Violent language directed at women in the public eye also perpetuates abuse behind closed doors. In 2016 Alberta’s shelters cared for just over sixteen thousand [16,177] women, children and seniors through admissions to shelter and outreach programs. Our goal is to bring this to zero – but we can’t do it in a society that tolerates public bullying of women.”
The province-wide launch of the campaign is taking place in the days after nominations close. Three events have been announced:
- Edmonton, Chateau Lacombe, noon September 19th, 2017.
- Calgary, John Dutton Theatre Library, noon, September 20th, 2017
- Grande Prairie, Odyssey House Women’s Shelter, 6:30 p.m. September 19th, 2017 [hosted by Odyssey House]
ACWS is asking candidates to:
- Influence the nature, tone and content of public discourse during this election period.
- Bring attention and change to the unacceptable treatment of female candidates and officials.
- Place accountability mechanisms in place to hold municipal politicians and trustees to account for their behaviour after the election.
ACWS is asking candidates from every political perspective to sign the Commitment. ACWS does not endorse any individual candidate, but supports policies which create a safer world for women.
Further details available at www.acws.ca/liftherup.
ACWS media contact:
Office: 780-456-7000 ext. 231