March 8, 2020

FCM and the Government of Canada continue to work together to ensure all women can participate in the political life of their community, both in Canada and overseas.

To achieve gender equality and open doors for women across all diversities, we need women in leadership roles. Through our women in local government initiatives, FCM helps support women from all backgrounds increase their knowledge, build their capacity, and become leaders in their communities.  

Training, education & resources

Education, capacity building, training and workshops are core tenants of our international programming. At FCM, we see our role as helping to increase the knowledge and capacity of women local elected officials, so that they can have a greater impact on their community and help address the challenges faced by the people they represent.

The Municipal Cooperation Program, based in Haiti, has organised more than seven training sessions, where women elected official from all the country shared their experiences and learn about their roles and responsibilities. Last fall, the program trained over 700 local elected women on their role, helping them strengthen their ability to navigate their city halls and be advocates for their communities.

Meanwhile, last February, Maja Tait, Mayor of Sooke, BC, who is also the president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, travelled to Cambodia as part of our Partners in Municipal Innovation program, to deliver capacity-building workshops women elected officials. These workshops focused on facilitation skills, conflict mediation and the laws protecting women and children.  

Building peer support networks

Peer support networks have proven to be a powerful tool for strengthening women’s leadership positions and political participation. These networks help women elected officials support each other to overcome the barriers they face and to lead their communities with confidence.

The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) program helped develop several women’s networks in Colombia and Peru. Through these networks, CISAL was able to strengthen the leadership, strategic communication, and local management capacity of 132 Colombian mayors, 20 Peruvian politicians and leaders, and over 200 women who aspired to elected office. Discover what CISAL did to support women’s political and economic empowerment in Colombia and Peru.

The Network of Women Mayors for Democracy and Peace adopted an action plan to promote a gender equality agenda in the municipalities, support the participation of women in politics, and to strengthen the capacities of women mayors. The Network offered workshops for women interested in running for office in 10 different regions, based on the Canadian “campaign school” model. The Network certified 90 women strategic communication planning, and helped over 500 women access the resources online.

Helping Canadian municipalities move toward parity

At home in Canada, FCM’s work to increase and support women in local government spans more than two decades, and includes research, advocacy and programming. Municipal governments can play a leading role in helping to achieve gender equality by helping to ensure the participation of women in the political life of their community.

Over the past year, our national program, Toward Parity in Municipal Politics, with support from the Government of Canada, has been consulting with and engaging municipalities, provincial-territorial associations, and sector leaders to map out the barriers women elected officials face and to generate ideas of how to tackle them. The results of this effort will be revealed later this year – follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop.

Celebrating women in local government with the Ann Maclean Award

#IWD2020 is the perfect opportunity to nominate a former municipal politician for the Ann MacLean Award, honouring her contribution to the promotion of gender equality. 

Women in Local Government
Women in local government
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