At 29.3 per cent SA councils aren't far off the minimal UN requirement of women in government, but can we do better?

REPRESENTING: Coorong councillors Julie Barrie and Donna Middleton look forward to the regional information session to be held in Tailem Bend. Photo: Supplied.

REPRESENTING: Coorong councillors Julie Barrie and Donna Middleton look forward to the regional information session to be held in Tailem Bend. Photo: Supplied.

A new campaign was launched last Tuesday to encourage South Australian women to nominate for their councils in this year’s local government elections.

Introduced by the Australian Local Government’s Women’s Association (ALGWA) SA branch introduced “Getting Elected – Women Can” in a bid to give women a greater say in decision-making in their local communities.

Rural for ALGWA SA vice president councillor Karen Eckermann said when she was elected in 2014 she was surprised to find herself as one of only two women in our chamber of nine councillors. 

According to the United Nations 30 per cent is the minimal percentage of women required for government to reflect women’s concerns, locally that achievement is not far out of reach as just over a quarter (29.3 pc) of SA councillors were women after the 2014 elections.

“I fully appreciate residents should not choose their candidates on the basis of gender, but I also firmly believe that the chamber should reflect accurately the community it serves,” Cr Eckermann said. 

“Women bring unique experiences and skills as well as their repertoire of passions and policy interests.

“These differences are important for a wide-ranging, informed and inclusive debate about issues that affect men and women in our area.”

The ALGWA SA is holding free regional information sessions to encourage the movement with one to be held in Tailem Bend on April 12 from 2-4pm at the Coorong council chambers on Railway Terrace. 

Women in attendance will receive ALGWA SA’s free resource pack: Women Can, which is part of the advocacy by the organisation to improve the current under-representation of women in local councils.

To register your interest for the event head to www.bit.ly/2pnmNZu.