Giving women a Seat at the Table

The Seat at the Table program, in partnership with the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce's Women in Niagara Council, is a unique opportunity for women in St. Catharines to gain insight into the political process.

With a focus on increasing political participation by women of all backgrounds, including marginalized communities, the program will see participants partnered with female City Councillors and interacting with community leaders. Over six months participants will take in monthly workshops, get the chance to see the workings of local government first hand, and build a network with other female community leaders.

Any woman over the age of 16 is encouraged to apply. The six successful applicants will recieve a $200 honourarium, alongside support for costs such as child care and transportation.

The program runs from December 2019 to June 2020.

Applications to Seat at the Table are now closed. Thank you to all who applied, we are reviewing applications so stay tuned.

A photo of women of diverse ages and backgrounds

Program Background

Did you know Niagara set a record in 2014?

At the time, during the municipal election, voters elected 34 women to political positions, a record number for the region. While that may be reason to celebrate, it illustrates a problem as well - 34 seats represent just 27 per cent of Niagara's 123 elected municipal officials.

Simply put, the Region, and City, are far from achieving truly equitable gender representation when it comes to local politics. In St. Catharines 25 per cent of city councillors are female.

With a focus on improving gender parity in government the City has set a 30 per cent threshold for female representation in the 2021 municipal election. In 2019 the City signed the Leadership Accord for Gender Diversity, a public commitment to support and promote the standards of diversity, equality and inclusion.

The Seat at the Table program is another step in this ongoing effort to include more diverse voices and achieve equity in the decisions that impact residents of all genders, ages and backgrounds.

This initiative is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.



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