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 has 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 will allow 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 are open to everyone, both men and women. These events are also open to anyone from other municipalities. Guest presenters will discuss topics like the role of the municipality, conflict of interest, and serving on Council, and conclude with a mock Council session to give participants practical experience. These events will build on each other, but you do not need to attend all sessions to participate. The first event occurred on July 6th, and the ion took place on August 4th, 2022.
The next Campaign School event is scheduled for Thursday, September 1st from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the RM Office, 100 Hutchence Road, Emerald Park. Refreshments will be provided. This Campaign School event will dive deep into the different aspects of campaigning and running for Council, including building a platform, communicating with the public, attracting support and volunteers, and canvassing, including door-to-door canvassing and telephone canvassing.
To reduce barriers to participation for caregivers, the RM is providing a Childcare Stipend. Under this system, the RM will cover your childcare costs during the session, up to $20 an hour (approx. $40 for the session). Participants are invited to contact the RM to learn more about this stipend and how to access it.