AUMA has been working and continues to work to increase women’s participation in Alberta’s local governments.
Highlights of Past Work: Women in Municipal Government
In 2009, members adopted a resolution sponsored by the Board that AUMA urge the Government of Alberta to support the goal of increasing women’s participation in municipal government through provincial policy and program decisions, as well as urging them to adopt strategies to achieve a goal of increasing women’s participation in provincial government.
In 2013, AUMA promoted a number of resources and events including FCM’s webinars on campaign training for women, Municipal Affairs’ candidate information sessions, Equal Voices’ campaign schools and a regional seminar for female candidates coordinated by St. Albert, Morinville and Legal. As a result, 490 women were voted into a municipal position (mayor or councillor) which meant that women held on average 26 % of municipal positions a rise from 22 % in the 2010 municipal election.
In 2014, AUMA hosted a 2014 Convention session titled, “Tips for Balancing Work and Home Responsibilities” which provided ideas and suggestions about maximizing time at home while balancing work life for both males and females.
In 2015/16, AUMA established an AUMA Status of Women Taskforce which had a broad mandate to improve outcomes for women with a specific focus on encouraging women’s leadership and democratic participation.
AUMA’s 2017 Activity
In preparation for the October 2017 municipal election, AUMA profiled the ‘Ready for Her’ online resource hub compiled by the Ministry of Status of Women as well as other organizations that promoted women in municipal government. Additionally, female members of the AUMA board participated in videos produced both by the ministry and by AUMA, which discussed personal experiences with the messages of encouraging more women to run in the election. The completed videos can be found at AUMA’s YouTube channel and the Ready for Her page.
Through a women in municipal government button campaign, AUMA raised funds to support women running in the 2017 municipal election. Portions of these funds were awarded to municipalities and organizations who had support from their municipality, to host events to support and encourage women running in the 2017 election. The winners included the Village of Big Valley, Town of Turner Valley, Community Futures West Yellowhead, and Crowsnest Pass.
In the 2017 election, approximately 906 females ran and 583 were elected. This represented approximately 29% of municipal positions.
AUMA has profiled Jasper and Canmore in Digest articles to bring awareness to family friendly policies that allow for remuneration of child and family expenses for councillors to offset costs when they’re acting in an official capacity. We have invited other municipalities to share their policies with us as a way to highlight them to other municipalities. If you have a policy that other municipalities can learn from, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
AUMA is working closely with FCM in their new initiative, Toward Parity in Municipal Politics. This initiative is a three-year, half a million dollar project funded by the Status of Women Canada. The objective of this project is to have the municipal sector and women’s organizations collaborate strategically to identify incentives and overcome barriers to increasing women’s participation in municipal government.
AUMA has ongoing dialogue with partners and organizations such as the Minister of Status of Women, EqualVoice and the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS). All of these organizations have worked in some capacity to advance the work of women in Municipal Government. An example of this is through EqualVoice’s Campaign school which was held prior to the Alberta municipal elections as well as aligned with both the federal and provincial elections. The material covered provides support for female candidates and helps to prepare them for challenges that could be faced campaigning. AUMA believes in partnering with organizations like these to help build momentum and support women.