Canadian Municipalities workshop to train women

Web Lead

Berry Vrbanovic, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and councillor for the City of Kitchener, Ont., announced a two-day workshop in the Regional District of Kootenay aimed at helping women overcome the obstacles they face in running for municipal office. The workshop will be held Aug. 27 and 28.

“This is one more concrete contribution to FCM’s continued efforts to increase the participation of women in municipal decision-making,” said Vrbanovic.

While women make up over 52 per cent of the Canadian population, only 24 per cent of the country’s elected municipal representatives are female. Canada ranks 46th out of 189 countries for the number of women in politics.

The workshop is one in a series that FCM is offering in municipalities across the country with funding from Status of Women Canada (SWC). The workshops provide instruction, networking, and mentorship opportunities to women interested in running for municipal office. Women who already serve on municipal councils are involved in the workshops wherever possible, and provide a mentorship role.

“These workshops are an excellent opportunity to increase the participation of women in the building of a stronger Canada. We hope that the Kootenay venue will draw a large number of registrants from the area,” said Regional District of Central Kootenay vice-chair Hillary Elliott. “More women choosing to put their name forward to represent their community in local government will make a positive difference, now and in the future, helping to make the UN target a part of the past.”

Based on current statistics, Canada would need 1,414 more women elected to municipal office to reach the 30 per cent target. This represents an increase of more than 100 women every year for the next 14 years.

The workshops are just one element of FCM’s broader program to increase the number of women in municipal government. To register, visit FCM’s website at www.fcm.ca and click “Events/Upcoming Events”.

— FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES