Women's Council Constitution

New Democratic Party (NDP) Federal Women’s Council

The Women’s Council of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) exists to promote social, political, economic and electoral equality for all of Canada’s women. The Women’s Council works to elect women NDP representatives to Parliament, to develop feminist policy, to support the equality goals of the federal NDP, and to advocate political and social change that will benefit women.

Article 1 - Name and Purpose

  1. This organization shall be known as the Women’s Council of Canada’s New Democratic Party, hereafter referred to as the Women’s Council. 
  2. The Women’s Council shall report directly to Federal Council and Federal Convention.
  3. The purpose of the Federal Women’s Council is to support:
    a. Feminist policy development, internally and externally.
    b. The Agnes McPhail fund.
    c. The search for women candidates.
    d. Women's nomination and election campaigns.
    e. Membership outreach, training and mentorship.

Article 2 - Membership
All women who are members in good standing of Canada’s NDP shall be members of the Women’s Council and eligible to attend meetings at convention.

Article 3 – Federal Women’s Council

  1. The Women’s Council shall meet at every federal NDP Policy Convention. 
    a) The purpose of the meeting shall be to elect or confirm the executive committee of the Federal Women’s Council 
    b) The Women’s Council shall consider and vote on motions brought before it at this meeting
  2. Not less than 90 days notice of the date and place of the meeting shall be provided to members. 
  3. All Women’s Council members are eligible to attend the meeting.

Article 4 – Executive Committee

  1. The Executive shall be collectively responsible for the operation of the Women’s Council.
  2. Any member of the Women’s Council shall be eligible for election to the Executive. 
  3. The Executive shall consist of the following 16 positions with the following duties:
  4. The executive shall consist of the following 16 positions with the following duties: 
    a). Two Co-Chairs, elected at the Women’s Council meeting at Convention. They shall jointly articulate the positions of the Women’s Council, and act in all capacities as the senior organizers of the Women’s Council, including preparing annual budgets and organising and chairing meetings of the Executive Committee. 
    i. One of these co-chairs shall represent the Women’s Council on the NDP Federal Executive, Federal Council and Federal Convention. 
    b). One Secretary, who shall maintain and distribute meeting minutes and any required financial records, keep records of Women’s Council correspondence, resolutions, and publications. 
    c). Thirteen Representatives, one elected from each of the provinces and territories in Canada. Where Provincial or Territorial Constitutions provide for election of representatives to the Executive Committee, they should be elected according to those provisions. Where Provinces and Territories do not have specific provisions for the election of their representatives, these will be chosen by delegates from those Provinces or Territories present at the Women’s Council meeting at Convention. These regional representatives shall undertake such responsibilities as determined by the Executive , in particular as related to the purposes set out in Article 1(3). 
    d). From among the Executive members women shall be selected to act as liaisons between the Women’s Council and each of the federal NDP equity committees, and organized labour.
  5. The term of each Executive Committee member shall be until the next Convention, unless the Provincial or Territorial rules state otherwise.
  6. Quorum of the Executive Committee shall be one of the Co-Chairs, plus at least three other members .
  7. The Executive shall meet at least six times per year at the call of the Co-Chairs , with at least 10 days notice provided to Executive members, except in the case of urgent matters. These meetings may take place in person or via electronic communication
  8. Executive positions will be declared vacant in the event of a member missing, without explanation, more than three regularly scheduled meetings in a year. 
  9. In the event of a vacancy among the co-chairs or secretary, the Executive shall elect a replacement from current Executive members at the next executive meeting. For representative vacancies, the executive will ask the Provincial or Territorial Executives for replacement representatives

Article 5 - Policy
The Women’s Council is responsible for supporting the development of policy on women’s issues on behalf of Canada’s NDP. The Women’s Council may submit resolutions for consideration by the federal Party Executive, Council and Convention.

Article 6 - Finances
An annual financial report shall be presented to the Women’s Executive Committee and federal Council.

Article 7 - Amendments
This constitution may be amended with at least 30 days notice provided by a two-thirds vote of Women’s Council committee meeting members present at a meeting.

Article 8 - Conflict
Should a conflict arise between this Constitution and the Constitution of Canada’s NDP, Canada’s NDP Constitution shall prevail.

Article 9 - Rules of Order
Meetings of the Women’s Council shall operate by consensus. In the event of unresolvable conflict, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used.