Women in local government

We encourage greater participation of women in local government as councillors and senior managers, in recognition of ongoing under-representation of women in these roles.

In Victoria, 38 per cent of councillors are women. The council elections in October 2016 resulted in all 78 councils having at least one female councillor. Fourteen councils have a majority of women councillors, but 13 councils only have one female councillor, which is considerably less than the percentage of women making up those communities.

Research has shown that when women stand for council they are just as likely as men to be elected; however, they often don't stand for election.

We support increasing the number of women participating in local government by:

  • endorsing the Victorian local government Women’s charter principles which are gender equity, diversity and active citizenship
  • promoting the activities of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association
  • promoting gender equity within local government to assist in the prevention of violence against women
  • ensuring that our events and training encourage people to stand for council election are welcoming and accessible to female participants
  • encouraging councils to consider initiatives which will increase the participation of women at political and community levels.

Celebrating 100 Years of Women in Local Government

The right to vote; the right to stand: the involvement of women in local government in Victoria is a booklet which details the legislative history of the right of women to be candidates for councils: a right denied from 1863 and allowed only from 1914. It was researched and compiled by Cr Helen Harris OAM and is published by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (Victoria).


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Rosemary Hancock
(03) 9677 5520