Percentage of Women Elected to PEI Municipal Councils Increases
Despite an increase in the number of women elected to municipal councils yesterday the percentage remains well below parity.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – With the conclusion of the 2018 municipal elections, the PEI Coalition for Women in Government can confirm that the percentage of women elected to municipal councils in Charlottetown, Summerside, Stratford, and Cornwall has increased from 23% in 2014 to 30% (9/30) in 2018.
“We are pleased to see an increase in the percentage of women elected in the four municipalities whose elections are administered by Elections PEI. However, we recognize that this percentage remains well below parity,” says Dawn Wilson, Executive Director of the PEI Coalition for Women in Government.
Summerside saw the biggest boost in the number of women nominated and elected in the 2018 municipal election. Women now make up 37.5% (3/8) of Summerside City Council compared to 12.5% (1/8) in 2014. Charlottetown also saw an increase in the number of women elected to the council, to 20% (2/10) from 10% (1/10) in 2014. The number of women elected to Stratford Town Council remained the same at 33.3% (2/6), while the number of women elected to Cornwall Town Council decreased to 33.3% (2/6), from 50% (3/6) in 2014.
The newly amalgamated municipality of Three Rivers is now among the five largest municipalities and the results there follow the trends in Charlottetown, Summerside, Stratford, and Cornwall, with 25% (3/12) of councillors being women and a man elected as mayor. The Coalition is reviewing and analyzing election results in other municipalities across the Island before commenting on Island-wide results and trends.
“Women were nominated and competed strongly for mayor in all five of the largest municipalities,” says Wilson. Minerva McCourt returns as Mayor of Cornwall, the only woman Mayor among the five municipalities.
“It’s clear there is still work to do to reduce barriers to women’s participation in elected office to ensure future councils reflect the diversity of the Island population,” notes Wilson. “In the meantime, we look forward to collaborating with municipal councils to ensure the voices and experiences of women and diverse groups are considered in policies and practices.”
Wilson concluded “The Coalition thanks all women candidates for putting their names on the ballot for municipal office. It’s inspiring to see so many women willing to serve their communities through elected office. We look forward to working with municipal councils across the Island to increase opportunities for women.”