Women make up over 50 per cent of Victoria's population - we should be more than 38 per cent of its councillors.
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In line with the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy, and the Best practice guide to gender equity in local government, our vision for the October 2020 local government elections is to see 50 per cent women elected.
It’s an ambitious goal – one that will require action from women (and men) across the state.
We want to engage communities that have long been disenfranchised and under represented at a local government level.
We know that in every part of this state, women play a pivotal role in the leadership of their communities, but this work is often underappreciated and not formally recognised.
We want local councils to look like the communities that they represent – after all, local government is supposed to be the level of government that is closest to the people.
Local government delivers essential services that women access on a daily basis. Councils are a significant contributor to the Victorian economy, employing over 50,000 people, spending more than $7 billion on service delivery and $2 billion on infrastructure annually, and managing over $70 billion in public assets.
Women’s connections to their community, their skills and their unique perspectives mean they are rich with potential to be terrific local councillors.
We live in a world where there are local women leading change, and we want to empower them to do it on a larger scale.
Launch of the 2020 campaign
We celebrated the launch of 'Local Women Leading Change' on 7 March 2019, to coincide with International Women’s Day 2019. With the theme of IWD 2019 as 'Balance for Better', our #2020vision of 50 per cent of Victorian councillors as women could not have been more topical.
We also launched our campaign resource, Local Women Leading Change - your campaign tookit.
Although it was a Victorian parliamentary sitting day, we were able to screen video messages from Minister for Women, the Hon Gabrielle Williams MP, and Minister for Local Government, the Hon Adem Somyurek MLC. In particular, we were pleased to hear Minister Somyurek's announcement of $50,000 of funding from the Andrews Labor Government to support the VLGA's 'Local Women Leading Change' campaign.