Across Saskatchewan, women are underrepresented in municipal government. Reviewing Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) statistics, only 6% of Councillors and 5% of Reeves are women – disproportionately low compared to the general population (50.3%). This male-dominated imbalance means councils often lack diverse voices when making municipal decisions. This gives government a limited perspective on municipal concerns and a homogenous attitude towards potential solutions.
On February 22nd, the Council of the Rural Municipality of Edenwold No. 158 adopted the Women in Government Program. This program aims to attract and encourage women to put their names forward for candidacy so that at least 30% of all candidates for municipal elections are women. While not representative of the overall population, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has identified 30% representation as the minimum ratio required to ensure government policy reflects the needs of residents of all genders.
Click here to read the Research Report (based on Phase I of the Women in Government Program).
The RM partnered with Equal Voice, a national non-profit advocating for the equal representation of women in government, to host a series of Campaign School events in July, August, and September 2022. These events allowed participants to learn more about municipal government and what it's like serving on Council.
While part of the Women in Government Program, Campaign School events were open to everyone, both men and women. These events were also open to anyone from other municipalities. Guest presenters discussed topics like the role of the municipality, conflict of interest, and serving on Council, and concluded with a mock Council session to give participants practical experience. These events built on each other, but you did not need to attend all sessions to participate. To review the slide decks from past sessions, please click the links below:
|July 6th, 2022 Slide Deck||August 4th, 2022 Slide Deck|
|September 1st, 2022 Slide Deck||September 29th, 2022 Slide Deck|
Regional Women in Government Committee
While the RM can promote change within our boundaries through the Women in Government Program, if women are to be represented more equally across the region, municipalities must work together to change how municipal government and women in government are seen as a whole. With this goal in mind, the RM created the Regional Women in Government Committee. This committee, made up of staff and elected officials from area municipalities, aims to systematically change how residents see women in municipal government and encourage greater participation amongst women in elections moving forward.
More information about the Regional Women in Government Committee will be released.