More women are being encouraged to enter local government amid growing pressure for gender equity.
Applications will soon be open for Victoria’s Women Leading Locally program, which supports aspiring local councillors.
Victorians set a national record last year by electing 272 women to local government positions, but women still make up just 43.8% of councillors.
The state government has set a goal of reaching 50% representation by 2025.
Supporting the program is the Gender Equality Advisory Committee, established last year to help the government achieve the goal.
“Through this program, women will break down stigma and achieve gender equality goals,” said Co-Chair and MP Juliana Addison.
The program is designed to help women develop leadership skills and equip them with the knowledge to successfully run a local government campaign.
Women from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous and LGBTQI members, as well as women living with disabilities are encouraged to participate.
The program will also target women in regional areas and municipalities where women are underrepresented.
There are places for 120 women over the next two years, before the next municipal elections in 2024.
“It is essential that we increase the number of women in local government, particularly from underrepresented groups – so that our representatives on council reflect the diversity of the community they serve,” said Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams.
Applications open May 12.
Australian Associated Press