For as long as we can remember, women have been talking with each other about the barriers and challenges faced while serving in local office. We have heard stories from the challenges of caregiving to devastating abuse.

We launched this research project to understand if this is “one bad apple” or system wide issues. We chose to speak with women and non-binary folks about their experiences in British Columbia and Alberta. Each province has different tools to address concerns and this would allow us to understand what is working.

It’s not enough to just name problems. We need to find solutions as well. The last stage of this project is to reconvene participants to talk about common themes and issues we discover and workshop potential solutions. Our role is to bring those recommendations to decision makers to make this experience better.

We want leadership in our communities that represent the diversity of its residents. In order to have this, we need local government structures that support people, are accessible and inclusive, and are not protecting some while harming others.

This is our project: Barriers to retaining women in local government.

It is a partnership between Climate Caucus and The Feminist Campaign School with a generous financial contribution from WAGE Canada.