With Victorian local government elections proceeding in October 2020 the VLGA is committed to continuing to support councils and communities in local democracy.
The VLGA is unwavering in its support for a diversity of candidates – including women – to stand for election, through its dedicated training programs and resources: Local Women Leading Change and Your Community, Country and Council.
The VLGA, along with other stakeholders is committed to increasing the representation of women in local government and achieving the state government’s target of 50 per cent women councillors by 2025.
To reach that target at the 2024 elections, or sooner in 2020, there will need to be a substantial increase in the number of women councillors elected.
“At the last local government elections in 2016, a third of the women who ran were successfully elected. To achieve 50 per cent women councillors elected in October, there will need to be about 1000 women candidates,” said Kathryn Arndt, VLGA Chief Executive Officer.
Previous evaluations of VLGA projects and local and international research have shown that one of the biggest barriers to women standing for election is the confidence gap – that women often need to be ‘asked’, or ‘tapped on the shoulder’ to run.
“That is why we are encouraging councillors, former councillors and community groups to ‘tap her on the shoulder’ and ask 5 women to run.” Ms Arndt said.
“It is not an endorsement, or alliance but simply the act of ‘tapping a woman on the shoulder may be a catalyst for change.”
The VLGA challenges councillors, individuals and community groups to do their part in fostering more representative and inclusive local governments: by prioritising equity, diversity and active participation, and encouraging more women to stand.
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Local Governance Association