This release was issued under a previous government.

Women encouraged to run in municipal election

Front R-L: Marina Banister (University of Alberta Student Union President), Mayor Lisa Holmes (Morinville, and President of Alberta Urban Municipalities Association), Minister Stephanie McLean, Lauren Pue (data analyst) and Lana Cuthbertson (chair, Equal Voice Alberta North)
Back R-L: Shane Scott, vice-president academic (University of Alberta Students’ Union); Adam Gordon and Weilun Guo (data analysts)

Status of Women has been working across Alberta to increase the number of women running for office in the Oct. 16 municipal elections. The deadline for people to declare their candidacy is Sept. 18.

So far, there are already more women signed up to run for Edmonton and Calgary city council than ran in 2013. Women currently hold about one-quarter of all elected municipal seats in Alberta, though they make up half of Alberta’s population. Nearly one-quarter of Alberta’s towns and cities do not have one woman on their council.

“We know women need to be asked over and over before they decide to run for office. Today, I am asking women again to consider running for office. Our city halls need your voices and perspectives. We know when women run, they win as often as men – and they bring new ideas that benefit all Albertans. There’s still time.”

Stephanie McLean, Status of Women Minister

Minister McLean will host a live webcast on Monday, June 26. It will be the last Ready for Her panel that encourages women to run and will allow viewers to ask questions about their own campaigns. Visit for event details and for later viewing of the video.

“I want to ask the women in Alberta who are looking for a good way to help their communities to consider running for office. And I want to ask the rest of us to think about the women in our lives who are making a difference, and ask them to run.”

Lana Cuthbertson, chair, Equal Voice Alberta North

Minister McLean has been encouraging women’s democratic leadership through the Ready for Her campaign and online guide at  

The guide includes information on the nomination process, campaign fundraising, team roles and responsibilities, as well as how-to videos posted on YouTube by female politicians.

Quick facts

  • From 2004 to 2013, only one woman has run for every three men in Alberta’s municipal elections.
  • In the 2013 municipal elections, Albertans elected women to 490 of 1,874 positions – an average of 26 per cent.
  • In Calgary, it’s 13 per cent: Only two of the 15 seats on Calgary’s city council are currently held by women.
  • As of today, 19 women have registered their intent to run for Edmonton City Council. Fifteen female candidates registered in 2013.
  • No more than 44 per cent of candidates in a region have been women. Their participation has fallen to as low as seven per cent in a region.

Listen to the news conference