July 2, 2019

The Toward Parity in Municipal Politics program is looking for local initiatives that will look to strengthen opportunities or reduce barriers for women to fully participate in municipal politics/local government.

Successful demonstration projects will promote opportunities or address a barrier that is hindering women from participating fully in municipal politics. Projects must align with one or more of the following pillars: 

  • Pillar 1 - Improved Access to information: Initiatives that enhance the sharing of information, tools, best practices, and training; includes the collection of disaggregated data for informed decision making and dispelling of negative stereotypes or false perceptions.
  • Pillar 2 - Enhanced Inclusion: Incudes initiatives that facilitate the participation of all people, especially those efforts that strive to reduce systemic barriers (sexism, racism, ableism, etc.), economic inequality, intimidation and harassment.
  • Pillar 3 - Increased support: Mechanisms that provide support for some of the structural issues that could impede women from participating in public office. This can include, but is not limited to, access to mentorship, tools for work-life balance, support for family responsibilities, and practical supports like child care, transportation, nursing rooms etc.
  • Pillar 4 - Improved governance and structure: Include initiatives that are targeting systems and policies that are inclusive for all, such as parental leave or elder care. This also includes activities that improve participation and strengthen consultation with women and minority communities, and build stronger ties and nuanced decision making.

Toward Parity’s national consultations have prioritized interventions that focus on mentorship, increasing access to information and breaking down informal networking and decision-making. While projects are welcome in any category, priority will be given to initiatives that support one of these areas of intervention.

Projects are eligible for up to $5000 in funding. The grants are intended to be either seed funding to incubate a new idea and gain support for gender equality in the community or to scale up an idea or initiative that has shown promise.

The project must be implemented between mid-September 2019 and June 1, 2020.

Who can apply?

Only applicants who meet the following criteria will be considered for a grant. 

  • Applications must be led by an FCM member (municipal or local government) or affiliate member such as a provincial or territorial association.
  • Successful applicants must have a partnership between a municipal or local government and a women’s organisation, youth or community group working on women’s issues or inclusion.
  • Must focus on increasing opportunities or reducing barriers for women in municipal politics.
  • Projects which promote diversity, inclusion and integration of youth will be prioritised. 
  • Must be non-partisan - funds cannot be used to support candidates, contribute to a political campaign or to a political party.
  • The project must be implemented between mid-September 2019 and June 1, 2020.

The lead applicant is the entity (municipality, local government) that is applying for a grant, and who will receive the funds from FCM, if the application is successful. Successful applicants will be required to sign a Letter of Agreement with FCM outlining the objectives of their initiative and how the funds will be used.

Please note: municipal corporations, not for profit organizations, and private-sector entities are not eligible as municipal partners. 

Application process and timelines

  • Eligible and ineligible costs: Before you apply, please review eligible vs ineligible costs in Appendix A.
  • Submission deadlines: Please submit your application by August 15, 2019 to be considered. 
  • Application confirmation: Within two weeks of sending your application to FCM, you will receive an email from FCM confirming that your application has been received. Please contact FCM at women@fcm.ca if you have not received a response confirming receipt of your application. 
  • Application decision timeline: FCM is committed to informing you of the results of your application within two months from the date that applications are closed. 
  • Evaluation and scoring process: See Appendix B for the application eligibility scorecard. The scorecard will be used by an independent reviewer. 
  • Funding process: Should your proposal be selected, you will receive a contract that must be signed and returned to FCM within 25 business days. 

How to submit your application: 

Before you submit your application and associated documents to FCM, please ensure: 

  • You have saved the document as a PDF 
  • You have signed the declaration forms: Section C
  • You have attached all supporting documentation to the email, especially the partner endorsement letter(s) 

To submit your application, email women@fcm.ca, subject line: Toward Parity Demonstration Project – Application with your PDF as an attachment. 


Download the application form


Toward Parity
Women in Local Government
Women in local government
2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities