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Municipal Elections in Canada: a guide for women candidates
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Organization: Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
About the Wise Practice
This guide provides tips and tools for campaigning and beyond within the municipal office.
It also highlights the systemic barriers women candidates face as opposed to male candidates, and provides insight on how to overcome such hurdles.
Goal 1: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal rights in all fields and in leadership at all levels of decision-making (NUA 13c, 90, 148, 155; SDG 5.5, 5.c; CEDAW article 3, 7).
At present, 22 per cent of all Canadian municipal politicians are women. The goal of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is to see women make up 30 per cent of local government councils by 2026.
Ongoing measurement of municipal elections will support evaluation of progress over time.
Municipal government is the level of government that is closest to the people. As a result, municipal government can help promote grassroots change. FCM believes change should include increasing the number of women on municipal councils in Canada, where they are currently under-represented. Why should women enter municipal politics? With women at the table, their issues are more likely to be included in all political discussions. Women also take a different approach to the process and to policy content. This often results in more inclusive discussions around the council table. The presence of women also helps to ensure political behaviour that is more constructive and less adversarial. The more women we have with political experience, the more opportunities there are for women through all levels of government.
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