New federal investment will help more women run for elected office

From: Status of Women Canada

New federal investment will help more women run for elected office

News release

Project will encourage and support more women to seek municipal office

November 5, 2018 – Montréal, Québec – Status of Women Canada

Women represent less than a third of seats in Parliament and in provincial and territorial legislatures, and only 18% of mayors and 28% of city councillors. The Government of Canada recognizes the need to increase the number of women in leadership positions, because when more women participate in politics and civic life, we get decisions that better reflect the diverse needs and experiences of people in Canada.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, announced $547,300 in funding for a project led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) that will encourage more women to get involved in public life and ultimately help attain greater parity on municipal councils across the country.

FCM’s research shows that women face many barriers when running, winning and maintaining positions in municipal politics. This includes a lack of support for families, fear of negative attacks based on gender norms, difficulty obtaining private donations, and people’s perceptions about the career paths of women.

Through this 36-month project entitled, Towards Parity in Municipal Politics, the FCM will work with partners such as its provincial and territorial municipal associations, Equal Voice, the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the private sector, to develop a national strategy and offer the support women need to participate in political life at the municipal level, in an effort to increase the number of women in decision-making positions at the municipal level to over 30%.

“Research shows that more women and diversity, in politics, on boards or on teams, leads to better decision-making. Canadian women are courageous, educated and talented, yet we still have a great deal of work to do to achieve gender parity in elected office at all levels, including on municipal councils. By partnering with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on this important project, we are supporting more women to play leadership roles in politics and civic life. Every day, women are leading in many ways. Our government will continue its work to break down barriers to women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, because when we invest in women, we grow the middle class, and strengthen our communities and our economy for everyone.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P. Minister of Status of Women

“Though incredible progress has been made to live in a Canada where more women are being elected and gender parity in public office is a growing movement, more work remains. With the Government of Canada as a partner, I have no doubt that Towards Parity will do amazing things in pursuit of equal representation of women in local office.”

Ms. Vicki-May Hamm, President

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Quick facts

  • The FCM was founded in 1901 and is the national voice of municipal government representing 90 percent of Canada’s municipal population. Its members include Canada’s largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 19 provincial and territorial municipal associations. In 2005, the FCM established the Standing Committee on Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal Government composed of 24 elected municipal officials from across Canada, who are working on initiatives to ensure women make up 30 per cent of municipal councils by 2026.

  • According to Resolution 15 of the 1990 United Nations Economic and Social Council, women’s equal representation will only be achieved when there is a minimum proportion of 30 percent women in leadership positions.

  • In 2015, 18% of mayors and 28% of municipal councillors in Canada were women.

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