Civic Offerings - Be engaged

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Women in Local Government

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is a member driven organization that is comprised of communities (municipalities) from across Canada – ranging from large cities to remote villages. FCM provides national, international and regional forums, conferences, workshops, programs and services. For up-to-date information about municipal issues this is a really good resource for elected respresentatives, administrators, related professionals and community members alike. Check out their website @ www.fcm.ca.

A particular interest of importance to me, as both a former elected representative and someone who works with communities on a daily basis, is the Women in Local Government Program. This program is based on strong evidence and targets the need for increased representation by women in local government. 

Please have a read of the statistics below that are directly taken from the FCM website and consider what you can do to help support women participation at the municipal level. For women who are considering becoming involved in local government please look at what resources are available to you through the Women in Local Government Program (please find the link below).
The material on the FCM website was updated as of July 2012. 

The United Nations defines 30 per cent as the minimal percentage of women required for government to reflect women´s concerns.

Women represent 16 per cent of mayors and 25 per cent of councilors in Canada, for an average of 24 per cent. In absolute terms, of 24,239 elected officials, 5,800 are women.

Based on current statistics, Canada would need 1,472 more women in elected office today to reach the 30 per cent target. That means increasing the number of women in municipal government by roughly 100 every year for the next 15 years.

FCM wants to help close this gender gap.

Since 2005, FCM´s Standing Committee on Increasing Women's Participation in Municipal Government has undertaken a number of initiatives, activities and programs to encourage women who are considering running for municipal office. The newest element of this campaign is the Getting to 30% Project. The program is designed to recruit and train women to run in municipal elections, through a series of campaign schools and webinars, as well as a campaign manual.

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