Coalition Supports Women Fundraising for Municipal Campaigns
Letter to the Editor
The belief that candidates should be able to fund their campaigns on their “own dime” would mean that only people with lots of money to spare could run for office, which would create disadvantages for many women and underrepresented groups.
In a recent letter Mr. MacIsaac raised concerns about the use of the online fundraising tool “Go Fund Me” for municipal campaigns. However, his letter more importantly revealed troubling assumptions about who can participate in election campaigns. The belief that candidates should be able to fund their campaigns on their “own dime” would mean that only people with lots of money to spare could run for office, which would create disadvantages for many women and underrepresented groups.
One of the biggest barriers to women’s participation in government is financial inequality. Women in PEI get paid less than men and the gender wage gap is even wider for women from diverse backgrounds. Although gender roles are changing, women are still more likely to perform unpaid work, such as child and elder care within Island homes. Research shows that women are also more likely to struggle to fundraise for political campaigns.
While Mr. MacIsaac finds the idea of raising money for political campaigns “highly offensive” and “self-serving,” the reality is women simply do not have the same level of access to resources to finance political campaigns as men. Shaming women for using new tools and technology to fundraise discourages women from participating in the first place.
We need more diversity at all levels of government in PEI. I applaud Ellen Mullally for putting her name forward for public office and for allowing ordinary, grassroots people the opportunity to support her campaign with small or large amounts.
PEI Coalition for Women in Government