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The FCM’s Women’s standing committee on Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal government facilitated an energetic and motivational workshop attended by over 100 women councillors and mayors from across the country. Canada currently stands at 22% representation by women, ranked 45th in the world.  The UN declares that 30% is required as a threshold to ensure women’s voices are reflected in public policy and decisions.

Equal Voice, a partner in the FCM’s Women’s Committee initiatives, has developed an on-line campaign school with Status of Women funding, and is currently developing an organizing campaign.  Resources can be accessed at www.equalvoice.ca

Equal Voice received the last funding from Status of Women whose programs were cut by the Federal government this fall. 

Campaign Schools have already proven successful as Women Municipal Politicians reported from their communities.  Guelph now sees 67% representation, Waterloo 50% including their city mayor, and Whitehorse elected 2 women to their city council.

Strategies highlighted included workshops and media events to raise awareness and mobilize communities to support women running for municipal office; a national campaign to increase women’s participation; and a Regional Champions Program to support and mentor women in the community contemplating or already participating in municipal politics.