Help us take action to advance social justice and equality for all women.

Our WorkResearch ProjectsAction on Barriers

Action on Barriers

Action on Systemic Barriers to Women’s Participation in Local Government (or Action on Barriers for short) was a three-year partnership between the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF) and Women Transforming Cities.

The research was conducted in two municipalities in British Columbia, Vancouver and Surrey. The goals of the project were two-fold:

  • To work with municipalities and citizens to identify systemic barriers and recommend on-going and permanent solutions to increase the participation of diverse women in local government as elected officials, as municipal staff, and as committee members; and
  • To enhance the understanding and awareness of the importance of using a gender-based intersectional lens to guide policies and actions, and to increase the use of this lens throughout municipal bodies.

What do we mean by a “gender-based intersectional lens”?

Developing policies and practices with a gender-based intersectional lens means identifying the different impacts policies and programs (or lack thereof) will have on different groups, recognizing that even within those groups not everyone’s experience will be the same. By using a gender-based intersectional lens, we identified and explored the various barriers that impede women’s participation in local government, and recommended concrete action to remove these systemic barriers for all women.

Project Objectives

Our project sought to identify systemic barriers faced by diverse women and recommend changes to increase the involvement of women in leadership and decision-making at all levels of government. We focused our activities locally on two municipalities, Vancouver and Surrey.

The Action on Barriers project produced a variety of fact sheets, reports and tools to identify and address diverse women’s obstacles to participation in local government.

Action on Systemic Barriers to Women’s Participation in Local Government is a three-year collaboration between CRIAW and Women Transforming Cities. It is a Status of Women Canada funded project.