With Election season looming upon us (my local Council area is set for September), if you have ever considered the idea of running for Local Government, NOW is the time to start taking some actions.
ScienceNordic.com published an interesting article considering why women are missing from local government, although a few years old now, and utilising data from overseas, it is still a compelling read with global resonance (on a sidenote I would be remiss to not mention that I clipped this great image from that same article, click on the image to have a read).
Last week I was fortunate to sit in on a Women’s Forum in Sydney to assist encouraging women in local government, those considering local government and those about to take the plunge.
Surrounded by some incredibly inspirational women, these were ground breakers. One panel member the first woman in one hundred and twenty five years to have been successfully elected to office in her electorate, another the women who pushed and was successful in obtaining affirmative action within her party to ensure opportunities for female representation and opportunity. The panel also included currently serving Councillors from around the state and their message was all the same;
We need more female representation. Recent efforts have included a push to involve women from varying age levels and various backgrounds. Whether a young mother, university student, seasoned professional or community advocate, if you have an interest in Local Government, this is the time to consider the real possibilities and get involved for opportunities to be supported and/or mentored.
Local Government is the coalface of the nation’s voice. Without adequate representation at a local level, it becomes difficult for a community to be heard and advocate on a state or federal platform. It makes sense then, when considering the voice of women, that women are adequately represented to ensure fair and considered change for the future.
How then do we achieve greater representation and work toward greater parity in the area of Local Government? THERE MUST BE WOMEN ON THE BALLOT. This includes seats in which there is an expectation to “win” but also to be in the count and stand on tickets which may not have an overt expectation of success or more remote chances of “getting up”.
It is only with greater female involvement that we can then achieve greater representation.
So, have you ever considered Local Government? Maybe you should. Some great information taken from the Australian Local Government Womens Association follows;
The UTS Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG) and the NSW Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA NSW) have developed an exciting Program, “Empowering Women in Local Government.” This innovative Program has been specifically developed to support women who are interested in:
- nominating as candidates in the next NSW Local Government elections, new candidates or currently serving councillors
- seeking employment in the Local Government sector
- improving their skills as Local Government staff, to improve promotion prospects
“Empowering Women in Local Government” is a unique learning opportunity developed by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (NSW) and the University of Technology Sydney, Centre for Local Government (UTS:CLG).
This innovative program has been specifically designed to support women considering:
- standing for election in the NSW 2016 Local Government elections
- existing women councillors and
- women working within the local government sector.