Good yarn? Red in mayor's scarf highlights 'male dominance' at council meeting

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By Zehra Yildiz  & Emma Beswick
Good yarn? Red in mayor's scarf highlights 'male dominance' at council meeting

A city councillor in Montreal has picked up her knitting needles to highlight the stark difference in the time female and male councillors speak at meetings.

Sue Montgomery noticed how little floor time her female colleagues had and decided to document it the best way she knew how.

Starting her scarf during a city council meeting, she used red yarn to represent periods of time when men were speaking and green for women.

While not an exact science, her creation clearly shows the disparity between genders, with swathes of red wool compared to dashes of green.

The 65-member council is relatively balanced, with 31 women and 34 men, but Montgomery told Euronews: "There is a handful of men who just talked a lot."

She decided to show the men of the council how much they were dominating after trying to speak to them directly.

"The men who are the worst offenders, I approached them ... and said why do you have to do that? And they said: 'We're debating and it's very important'," Montgomery said.

"The women are talking, they're just more efficient at it," she observed.

The mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce plans to continue her project until Christmas in order to see if the red sections start to diminish and the repartition of colours becomes more even.

She'll then auction off the scarf and donate the funds to a women's organisation.