The Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Final Report

The Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Final Report
The Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Final Report
(YELLOWKNIFE)  Wednesday, June 5, 2019 – The Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women presented its Final Report and recommendations in the house on June 4th, 2019.  This report marks the completion of the Special Committee’s work that began when the Committee was established on November 1st, 2018. 
The Special Committee’s final report responds to the Speaker’s Temporary Special Measures discussion paper tabled in May 2018. The paper examines the idea of guaranteed seats for women based on a model used in the Samoan parliament. The Committee met with more than a hundred people during ten community hearings to gauge their response to this idea. The Committee decided to defer recommending a plebiscite on guaranteed seats until after the next territorial election.
The Members of the Legislative Assembly unanimously adopted the report’s three recommendations:
 - If the 2019 election does not meet 20 percent women representation, the 19th Legislative Assembly call a plebiscite to determine which of the options set out in the Discussion Paper is preferred by the electorate.
 - That the Legislative Assembly to create an election rebate for candidates who receive at least 5 percent of the votes cast in her or his electoral district in the NWT, reimbursing 50 percent of eligible personal election expenditures up to a maximum rebate amount of $3,000.
 - The NWT Legislative Assembly support the new NWT Polytechnic University to establish a leadership program designed to assist women to gain the skills and knowledge to take on leadership roles, including territorial, Indigenous and municipal political positions.
On March 8, 2018, the Legislative Assembly of the NWT adopted a motion to increase the representation of women in the Legislative Assembly to 20 percent by 2023 and 30 percent by 2027. The Special Committee was created to examine options and recommend initiatives to achieve these goals.
The Committee released an Interim Report on March 12, 2019, which included seven recommendations, all of which were unanimously accepted by the Members of the Legislative Assembly. 
Four of seven recommendations proposed measures to support work-life balance for parents, introducing childcare-friendly provisions to the Legislative Assembly and requiring a review of the family-friendliness of the building. The remaining three recommendations provide solutions to removing barriers preventing women from participating successfully in politics: making information on consensus government more accessible; information about the specifics of an MLA’s role; and increasing campaign training for women in the NWT.  Some of the recommendations have already been implemented, such as the installation of baby change tables and the designation of a Family Room in the Legislative Assembly building.
“[The] Committee is hopeful that implementation of recommended changes in both, the interim and the final report will increase the representation of women in this Assembly, starting with the next election,” says Julie Green, Chair.
To learn more about the Committee and its members, please visit the Legislative Assembly’s website:\
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Franki-Smith, Committee Clerk
Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 767-9130 ext. 12009