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Workshop helps women interested in public service, politics

by Ben Clarke

Women looking to get insight into the world of public service have an opportunity to attend a one-of-a-kind workshop.

The bootcamp workshop, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, is designed for women who are thinking about getting into public service, whether it be as a board member or candidate in municipal, county, provincial or federal politics.

The campaign is called Women in Politics: A Road Map and uses the slogan “Be Her or Support Her”.

Registration is free of charge and will start at 8:30 a.m. The event will run until 2;30 p.m. at the Peterborough Lions Community Centre.

“The workshop is meant for women not only in the city but throughout the county,” says Betsy McGregor who will be facilitating the event in partnership with Trent University Politics Society and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).

“The invitation is also not only for women who are currently involved in politics but women who have dreamt about it, are thinking about it or just want to know more about it.”

McGregor was a two-time federal Liberal candidate for MP in the Peterborough riding in both the 2008 and 2011 elections.

The defeat, however, has not stopped her from opening up to other women about the importance of having a voice and being a leader in their community.

The workshop will give a detailed description of the tools to equip and empower women to understand politics and how to get involved at different levels of government.

“We use an A to Z road map at a very superficial level, but nonetheless it will provide a tool box for ideas, networks and concepts that will enable them to step into the arena of declaring as a candidate or supporting another individual who is declaring,” says McGregor.

During the day panelists will take a look at where women are in society today, what tools are needed to run a successful campaign and how working with the media can make a successful campaign.

“In Canada, federally we are 46th in the world,” says McGregor.

“There are 45 other nations in the world electing more women to their parliament then we do. The missing number is a wake up call to our day’s events.”

Workshop attendees will also learn about the municipal, provincial and federal acts and how to govern your behaviour and follow all political laws.

McGregor has held a workshop in the Ottawa area previously where she had rave reviews from those in attendance, a goal she hopes to achieve during the Peterborough County event.

“The workshop will make women feel equipped and empowered to make an informed decision,” says McGregor.

“My passion is to open the door so it’s easier for women to be mentored and to understand what it’s like to run for a public service position.”

For more information contact Nicole Paré at 705-743-3526 or npare@ywcapeterborough.org.

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