FCM announces municipal campaign training webinar series for women

OTTAWA, Nov. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Berry Vrbanovic, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and councillor for the City of Kitchener, Ont., announced a free webinar series aimed at helping women overcome the obstacles they face in running for municipal office.

"The webinars will provide valuable information for women interested in running for municipal office but who have not been able to attend the in-person workshops FCM has been offering across the country for the last two years. They are another contribution to our continued efforts to increase the participation of women in municipal decision-making," said Vrbanovic.

Each of the five English webinars will cover a key campaign issue: campaign finances (November 22, 2011); deciding to run (January 12, 2012); media relations (January 25, 2012); campaign literature (February 7, 2012) and social media (February 14, 2012). A series of French webinars will also be offered.

While women make up over 52 per cent of the Canadian population, only 24 per cent of the country's elected municipal representatives are female. Canada ranks 46th out of 189 countries for the number of women in politics. FCM aims to reach the United Nations target of having a minimum of 30 per cent female participation in government. Based on current statistics, Canada would need 1,414 more women elected to municipal office to reach the 30 per cent target. This represents an increase of more than 100 women every year for the next 14 years.

"I have seen the next generation of women politicians, they're out there, and what we need to do is inform, educate, and support them because more women at the table will make a difference," said Pam McConnell, chair of FCM's Standing Committee on Increasing the Number of Women in Municipal Politics and a veteran Toronto city councillor.

Like FCM's campaign workshops that preceded them, these webinars are an element of FCM's broader program to increase the number of women in municipal government. FCM gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Status of Women Canada for this program.

While webinars are free, places are limited and interested participants must register at www.fcm.ca, click on Events/Upcoming Events/Webinar: Campaign Financing for Women, and click on Register.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. With more than 2,000 members, FCM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Members include Canada's largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 21 provincial and territorial municipal associations.

SOURCE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES

For further information:

Maurice Gingues, 613-907-6399 or mgingues@fcm.ca. All webinar and related materials will be made available on FCM's website.

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