Gender equality and social inclusion in local governments

In Canada, as more women take on political leadership roles, municipal, provincial and national orders of government are becoming more representative of, and responsive to, the people they serve. But women still make up less than half of elected members on municipal councils. The number of women mayors also lags behind that of men mayors. So, there is still work for all of us to do to achieve parity (generally accepted as a 40/60 split) and foster diversity and inclusion in our local governments. 


What is FCM doing about it?

Here are the different initiatives we are leading to foster gender equality and social inclusion in local governments in Canada and abroad.


  • FCM currently implements three programs that have gender equality and inclusion at their core. Scroll down for full descriptions and all the latest updates.


  • We also developed and now manage an online Resource Library for Inclusive Municipal Governance. This compilation of tools, templates and examples of successful initiatives from Canada and abroad is based on the expertise we built through years of gender equality and social inclusion programming. New resources are added regularly, so visit often.

See the Resource Library


  • In 2022, we commissioned an environmental scan to highlight various gender-responsive and inclusive approaches being used, or developed, by municipalities across Canada. This exercise yielded a wealth of information and additional resources.

See the research findings


  • On International Women's Day in March 2022, we launched FCM Momentum, a quarterly newsletter that highlights how our members are collaborating with municipal partners, local groups, and others to create a more inclusive and supporting municipal environment for women who want to take on a leadership role. By applying FCM's unique peer-to-peer approach, they are making a tangible impact in countless communities.

Read issues of FCM Momentum


  • For Gender Equality Week in Canada in September 2022, we launched a Gender-Responsive Public Budgeting Course. This free, online course was developed by our program in Tunisia, in collaboration with our other international projects, as well as our Canadian Women in Local Leadership program. It is an introduction to gender-responsive budgeting and is meant for municipal staff and elected officials. It will also be of interest to civil society members engaged in municipal action. Learn how to identify inequalities between men and women in the provision of services and payroll management. Understand the causes of these discrepancies and explore corrective measures.

Register for the course

Canadian Women in Local Leadership (CanWILL)

Canadian Women in Local Leadership (CanWILL) is inspired by the Toward Parity Framework. It aims to foster diversity and inclusion on municipal councils so they better reflect the citizens they serve.

Tunisia: Inclusive Municipal Leadership

The goal of this project is to ensure that citizens and elected officials have more influence over the management of local affairs in eight Tunisian municipalities.
Join the online community

Join a growing Facebook community to connect with your peers and stay up to date with their work in this field.

Focus areas
Themes that guide us

Our work is centred around core focus areas like infrastructure, affordable housing and ​climate and environment. We do advocacy and policy work in these areas and also have relevant programs with resources, training, support and sometimes funding. Browse our focus areas to find information that fits your needs.

Looking for funding opportunities?

We may be able to fund part of your innovative, sustainability-related municipal project. We fund plans, studies, pilot projects, capital projects and more.

Subscribe to FCM Momentum

Get quarterly updates on our work to foster gender equality and social inclusion in local governments.

© 2024 Federation of Canadian Municipalities