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Women in Local Government

About Women in Local Government

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

Women in Canada represent 18 per cent of mayors and 28 per cent of councillors, for an average of 26 percent. In absolute terms, of 24,113 elected officials, 5,926 are women. Based on current statistics, Canada would need 1,408 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 over the next 14 years.

FCM wants to close this gender gap.

In 2005, FCM established the Standing Committee on Increasing Women´s Participation in Municipal Government to seek and support initiatives to increase women´s political participation in municipal government. The committee, composed of 24 elected municipal officials from across Canada, is working to ensure women make up 30 per cent of municipal councils by 2026.

Mission statement

The Standing Committee on Increasing Women's Participation in Municipal Government will promote and support the participation of women in government.


  1. Analyze the obstacles to women's participation.
  2. Take specific action to reduce these obstacles.
  3. Encourage women to participate.


  • Encourage a positive working relationship between all people working in a political environment.
  • Provide a network for participation and membership for women elected to office in municipalities across Canada.
  • Mentor newly elected officials, and mentor those facing difficult issues.
  • Exchange information, ideas and learning at FCM's Annual Conference.
  • Through a variety of annual scholarship awards, encourage women to consider becoming involved in municipal government.
  • Recognize excellence of women in municipal government through the Ann Maclean Award.
  • Spread women in municipal government's knowledge and experiences to communities around the world.
Page Updated: 20/04/2018