Social and Community

Women in Local Government

Local Government NSW encourages a diverse range of candidates to stand for election across all spheres of government, helping to ensure that elected representatives truly reflect their communities.

Promoting gender equity
LGNSW’s Professional Development team facilitates the Leadership for Aspiring Women Program, which assists women in non-management positions to develop skills and knowledge required to advance their careers.

We also support and encourage NSW councillors and staff to become members of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA).

Women’s Week and International Women’s Day
Women’s Week in NSW is held in March. Women NSW supports events that bring women and girls of all backgrounds together and provide practical support to the participants.

During Women’s Week, LGNSW hosts the Local Government International Women’s Day Lunch. Please see the Events page for more information.

Prevention of violence against women
LGNSW and councils have been collaborating on ensuring the prevention of violence against women and their children. Please see the “Crime Prevention and Safety” page for more information.

Women elected to council
In the lead up to the 2021 NSW local government elections, Women for Election Australia and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association NSW Branch partnered with the NSW Government to host workshops for potential female candidates. The workshops were part of the NSW Government’s Election of Women to Local Government Action Plan.

Greater Sydney Commission’s Women’s Safety Charter
The Greater Sydney Commission is calling for organisations, including councils, to join their Women’s Safety Charter which has the following pillars:

  • A Culture of Gender Equality
  • Listen, share and reflect
  • Collective action and continuous improvement

NSW Local Government Women’s Charter
In 2004, the leaders of the Local Government Association of NSW, the Shires Association of NSW, the Australian Local Government Women's Association NSW and the Local Government Managers Australia NSW Division signed a charter for women in local government.

This charter enshrines principles expressed in national and international protocols, which highlight equal rights and opportunities for women as central to achieving good local governance.

"In support of increased women's participation in local decision-making and in democratic local governance in NSW, both in terms of elected representation and across all levels of employment, we, as representative agencies, support the following principles:

  • That women and men have an equal right to be representatives in local governance.
  • That women and men have an equal right to employment in Local Government and equality in recruitment procedures.
  • That, in recognition of the value of different experiences and perspectives, councils and communities encourage and welcome the participation of women in all aspects of Local Government.

"Local Governments are in a unique position to work with the community to increase the numbers and participation of women in public life, so that decision-making more clearly represents and reflects the interests and demography of communities."