$1M in funding announced to promote women in northern politics

The federal government will give the N.W.T. $525,000 and Nunavut $600,000 in funding to promote the participation of women and girls in politics and leadership.

Federal government will give N.W.T. $525K, and Nunavut will receive $600K

N.W.T. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment and the Status of Women, Caroline Cochrane said the funding announced Thursday in Yellowknife will help advance the participation of women in northern politics. (Katie Toth/CBC)

The governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will receive more than $1 million from the federal government to promote gender equality in all levels of government.

The N.W.T. will receive $525,000, with the territory kicking in another $121,000, while Nunavut will receive $600,000. In the N.W.T., the money is earmarked for public information campaigns and a new school curriculum.

In Nunavut, a working group will be created to promote the participation of Inuit women and girls in leadership roles.

The announcement was made Thursday in Yellowknife by N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod.

"When we invest in women and girls we create stronger communities and we grow the economy," McLeod said.

In a press release, the funding was described as fulfilling "one of many commitments" made between territorial and federal ministers to "address key challenges affecting women and girls across Canada."

N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod said investment in women and girls is good for the territory and its communities. (Katie Toth/CBC)

In the Northwest Territories, two of 19 seats in the Legislative Assembly are held by women. 

"It's not that we are better, it's that we think differently," said Caroline Cochrane, minister responsible for education, culture, employment and the status of women in the N.W.T., who was one of the two women elected in the last territorial election.

"Women represent 50 per cent of the population. We need to be at the table." 

Cochrane said "there is still much work to be done," noting she intends to run again in the fall election. In comments during the announcement Thursday, she thanked MLA Julie Green for her work to advance women's issues in the territory.

The 2018 federal budget announced $100 million over five years in support of a "viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada," the press release stated. The 2019 budget proposes an additional $160 million over five years.

The N.W.T. election is on Oct. 1.

With files from Katie Toth


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