MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Agócs, Carol

Geographical Areas



This paper examines the barriers to participation that women face when attempting to enter municipal politics based on a review of the programs and recommendations made by three initiatives that have been developed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Equal Voice, and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to increase the number of women in municipal government. The findings reveal that the barriers to participation can only be removed through major political and cultural changes and the deterrents to equal participation, such as systemic discrimination, sexism, power gender imbalances, and the marginalization of women and minorities, must be addressed in order to move forward.