Nomination of Women Increases in 2018 Municipal Elections
The PEI Coalition for Women in Government is pleased to see an increase in the number of women running as candidates in the four PEI municipalities whose elections are managed by Elections PEI.
October 22, 2018, Charlottetown- The PEI Coalition for Women in Government is pleased to see an increase in the number of women running as candidates in the four PEI municipalities whose elections are managed by Elections PEI. Overall, women make up just 26.3% of candidates in Charlottetown, Summerside, Stratford, and Cornwall, an increase from 16.3% in 2014 and 19.4% in 2010. Women also make up 31% (4/13) of mayoral candidates in these four municipalities, and there is at least one woman running in each of the four mayoral races.
Dawn Wilson, Executive Director of the PEI Coalition for Women in Government, notes, “It’s promising to see a full ten percent increase in the number of women running in these four municipalities. However, the percentage is still well below parity.”
Wilson highlighted considerable variation between the four municipalities. Summerside sees a dramatic increase in the number of women running for council positions, up to 32% (7/22), compared to just 3.6% in 2014. The percentage of women running in Charlottetown has increased to 15% (4/27) candidates, from 6.9% in 2014, but is still the lowest among the four. Historically, the Town of Cornwall has consistently seen more women running for municipal office than any other large municipality. In 2018, 45% (5/11) of candidates in Cornwall are women, a slight decrease from 50% in 2014. Women candidates make up 25% (3/12) of candidates in Stratford, which marks a decrease from 33% in 2014.
“There continue to be barriers to women’s participation in politics which must be addressed to truly impact the number of women who will run,” Wilson says. The final numbers of men and women seeking election in other municipalities across the Island will not be known until after extended nomination deadlines in some rural municipalities.
“After the nominations close, it’s up to the voters,” says Wilson. “National research has indicated that an overwhelming majority of Islanders believe that the best way to achieve a well-functioning political system is to elect more women. Now is the time for voters to step up and use their ballots to put more women on municipal councils.”
Having more women elected will bring a greater diversity of experience to the decision-making table, increasing the potential for policy and programs that speak to women’s experiences and lives. The PEI Coalition for Women in Government remains committed to increasing the opportunities for women to be elected to all levels of government.