systemic barriers to women's Participation in local government

In November 2020, WTC completed a three year project in partnership with Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAWtitled “action on systemic barriers to women’s participation in local government”, funded by the Women and Gender Equality Canada.

The goals of the project were to:

  • Work with municipalities and citizens to identify and institute on-going and permanent solutions to address barriers to the participation of diverse women in local government as elected decision-makers, as staff, and as committee members; and

  • To enhance the understanding and awareness of the importance of using a “gender-based intersectional lens” to guide policies and actions, and to increase the use of such a lens throughout municipal departments and functions.

Although, the research project has concluded, WTC is continuing to take action on the barriers identified through this project.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please contact us at info@womentransformingcities.org.

Publications and reports

 

Final Report: Action on Systemic Barriers to Women's Participation in Local Government (2020)

The final report offers an overview of this three-year project, concentrating on four areas in which women participate in local civic life: as candidates and elected decision-makers; as participants in citizen-led municipal advisory bodies; as municipal employees; and as participants in city-led public engagement efforts. 

Voter Engagement, Electoral Systems, and Diverse Women’s Political Representation: A Brief Review (2019)

Using the 2018 Vancouver, BC elections as a case study, this brief review looks at representation on city council and who votes in municipal elections.

Pathways to a Women-friendly Surrey: Outcome Report (2018)

This outcome report presents the expertise of women participating in a forum held in Surrey, BC. The forum set out to find out why and how women become involved in the city, what helps and supports a woman candidate and what barriers or challenges she faces.

Hot Pink Pathways to a Women-Friendly Vancouver: Outcome Report (2018)

This outcome report presents the expertise of women participating in a forum held in Vancouver, BC. The forum set out to find out why and how women become involved in the city, what helps and supports a woman candidate and what barriers or challenges she faces.

Barriers Facing Women in Politics Briefing Note (2018)

Submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

Systemic Barriers to Women's Participation in Local Government Project's Literature Review (2017)

Literature review of major research pieces and providing an overview of identified barriers to women's involvement in local government.

Webinars

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, plans for an in-person summit in Vancouver were replaced with a series of three webinars. 

Dare to Run

Councillors and Mayors from Canada reflect on the challenges and opportunities presented as Black women, Indigenous women & women of colour. Featuring Mayor Toni Boot, Councillor Nadine Nakagawa, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Dr Joy Masuhara, moderated by Rhiannon Bennett. Co-sponsored by SFU's Community-Engaged Research Initiative, SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, SFU Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and SFU Urban Studies Department

How To Take Action In Your City

Activists and policy advocates for a discussion about how we address barriers to civic participation for all community members. Featuring Kimberley Wong, Priti Shah, Tonye Aganaba and Rhiannon Bennett.

Making Your Vote Work for Women

A discussion between Halena Seiferling, Rhiannon Bennett, Andrea Reimer and Ellen Woodsworth exploring how structural changes to the electoral system in Vancouver would help increase the diversity of the council. They have found that in of all the Mayors and City Councillors in the 16 major municipalities only 5 are women of colour!

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