Women and girls make up half the population of Canadian cities. In Canada, however, only 21 per cent of elected municipal officials are women. Girls are not typically engaged in decision making that affects their lives in cities. Engaging women and girls in municipal decision-making,policy making, urban planning and budgeting can transform cities to be more equitable, inclusive and democratic for all residents. In some cities, women set up organizations and council advisory committees to change these statistics by addressing equality, equity and diversity. We want to build on that work with a national conference titled, Engaging Women, Transforming Cities,Designing an Ideal City for Women and Girls.
The Engaging Women, Transforming Cities conference will bring together elected municipal officials with women and girls active in women’s groups, unions, universities, schools, aboriginal, queer, immigrant and refugee, housing and health organizations, and violence against-women, anti-racist, anti-poverty and child care activists as well as planners, architects and engineers. This is an opportunity for dialogue and action between women and girls and local governments. We want to transform our cities into places where women are more involved in the elective process and municipal governments are responsive to the priorities of women and girlsin Canada’s urban centres.
For Canadian cities to be accountable to women, we need women to be involved in decision making at all levels. A national conference bringing together elected officials with women from equality-seeking community organizations will move this agenda forward. We’re organizing this conference to take place in Vancouver before the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ annual conference in June, 2013. Organizing is taking place by email, Skype, phone calls, Facebook,and in meetings across Canada. Please join us in engaging women and girls to transform our cities. For information, to get involved, to let us know what you are doing or to send letters of support to
Engaging Women Transforming Cities