Gender Equity Statistics
In Western Australia, 50 per cent of the population is women, yet women are under-represented across local government – in both elected councillor and senior manager roles. Currently women represent only 40 per cent of all councillors serving on our 139 local councils across the State.
Each year, the Australian Local Government Women's Association WA Branch (WAWAs) compile a list of all Local Government elected members to evaluate the gender balance on Councils across Western Australia. As there are a number of bi-elections held in different Local Governments throughout the year, the WAWAs continued to monitor the gender balance across WA regardless of whether or not it is an election year, to monitor changes to gender balance on Councils.
As we now have 3 years of data collection, we can now start to see emerging trends showing that there has been an increase of women elected as Councillors and into leadership roles over the past 3 years which is encouraging, however we still have a long way to go to reach gender equity on Councils.
Women elected to Local Governments
The data below shows the total amount of women elected to WA Local Government Councils since 2020, which has been slowly increasing with each election cycle. Research has shown that when women stand for council they are just as likely as men to be elected; however, they often don't stand for election. Whilst these results are encouraging, more work needs to be done to encourage and empower more women to stand for election at each Local Government election if we want to reach a 50/50 gender equity on Councils.
Women elected to leadership roles
The data below shows the total amount of women elected to Council leadership roles including Mayor or Shire President and Deputy Mayor or Deputy Shire President since 2020. Whilst the number of mayors is slowly increasing, interestingly the number of Deputies decreased last year. This could be caused by a lack of consistent election cycles and terms of the Deputy role across the Local Government sector, as some Councils have this as a 2 year term, whereas others are elected annually.
Total Gender Equity on all WA Local Governments
The data below shows the breakdown of gender balance across all 139 Councils in WA. Ideally, we want to see the number of Councils in the green (Equal or Majority women) significantly increased, and not have to include any red (no women) at all!
To see a further breakdown and analysis of these statistics, please click on the year below:
The WAWA's seek to improve these statistics through the continuation of our 'Standing Up' program, empowering women to nominate in the Local Government Elections. To find out more about this program, click on the button below:
The WA Local Government elections are held every 2 years in October, with the next one due in 2023. Please see the WA Electoral Commission website for dates, eligibility and information about how to nominate for election for your local council.