Women For Election http://www.womenforelection.ie Women for Election is a non-partisan organisation whose vision is of an Ireland with balanced participation of women and men in political life. We will inspire and equip women to succeed in politics through offering tailored training and support programmes to women seeking to enter public life. Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:21:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 Crucial year ahead for women in politics – get ready to run! http://www.womenforelection.ie/crucial-year-ahead-women-politics-get-ready-run/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/crucial-year-ahead-women-politics-get-ready-run/#respond Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:20:48 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3885 Speaking at a panel discussion in Dublin this week, Women for Election founder and Board member Niamh Gallagher said 2018 will be a crucial year for resetting the gender balance in Irish politics. She urged women to use the year in which we will mark 100 years of female suffrage, to get ready to run […]

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Speaking at a panel discussion in Dublin this week, Women for Election founder and Board member Niamh Gallagher said 2018 will be a crucial year for resetting the gender balance in Irish politics. She urged women to use the year in which we will mark 100 years of female suffrage, to get ready to run in the 2019 local and European elections.

The Women for Election Christmas event in the Royal Irish Academy, brings together a cross party panel of female politicians to review the political events of the year. Speakers include Mary Lou McDonald, TD; and, Niamh Smyth, TD; and; Cllr Jennifer Whitmore.

Niamh Gallagher said, “A number of important issues affecting women have been to the fore in Irish politics this year. The issue of gender in politics itself has also been the subject of much debate, with our crowdfunding campaign during the summer proving the appetite for women in politics by far exceeding its target and raising almost €60,000. Tonight is an opportunity to hear from women at the heart of Irish politics about these and other topics and events.”

“We have come a long way in the 100 years since women in Ireland gained the right to vote but still women account for just 22% of TDs and only 19 women have ever been appointed to Cabinet. Disappointingly, this year the number of women in the Cabinet was actually diluted by Leo Varadkar upon his appointment as Taoiseach. When you look at the numbers, you are struck by a realisation that really we have not come anywhere close enough to gender equality in Irish politics.”

New CEO appointed 

Niamh Gallagher this evening announced that Women for Election has appointed Ciairín de Buis as its new CEO to lead the organisation in its mission to increase the number of women in politics.

She said, “We are delighted to announce Ciarín de Buis as the new CEO of Women for Election. Ciairín has impressive experience, working with national advocacy and campaigning organisations, most recently as CEO of children’s rights organisation, Start Strong. She has a very strong commitment to equality in society and politics, and she will be a fantastic asset to the organisation as we enter an exciting new phase in our development.

“Women for Election’s focus in the year ahead will be to lay the foundations to change the statistics for women in politics. We want to encourage and prepare female candidates across the political spectrum to run in the 2019 local and European elections.

“Local elections are a vital pipeline to national politics and, as we saw throughout this turbulent year, a General Election is rarely far from the horizon in this Dáil. So our message to women tonight is this: get ready to run.

“We are asking Irish women to make a New Year’s resolution to seriously consider politics, and we are urging everybody to make an effort to encourage women they know to step forward and become a candidate. Women for Election will be there to support those who do,” Niamh Gallagher pledged.

 

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Women for Election wins international gender equality award http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-election-wins-international-gender-equality-award/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-election-wins-international-gender-equality-award/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:49:37 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3882 This evening the Irish not-for-profit organisation Women for Election was awarded the 2017 Gender Equality Award at the International Electoral Affairs Symposium and Awards Ceremony in Jordan. The Award was made by the European Centre for Electoral Support and the ICPS (International Centre for Parliamentary Studies). This Award rewards Electoral Management Bodies, Electoral Officials and […]

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This evening the Irish not-for-profit organisation Women for Election was awarded the 2017 Gender Equality Award at the International Electoral Affairs Symposium and Awards Ceremony in Jordan. The Award was made by the European Centre for Electoral Support and the ICPS (International Centre for Parliamentary Studies).

This Award rewards Electoral Management Bodies, Electoral Officials and organisations who encouraged and implemented equal participation rights for women and men to guarantee the proportionality and representativeness of elections. Women for Election was in competition with electoral bodies and organisations from around the world, and shared the award with the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico.

Women for Election is a non-partisan organisation whose vision is of an Ireland with balanced participation of women and men in political life. The organisation aims to inspire and equip women to succeed in politics through offering tailored training and support programmes to women seeking to enter public life.

Women for Election offers a tailored training and support programmes to women seeking to enter public life; and provides and facilitates a cross-party network of political women, committed to gender equality in Irish political representation. We believe that a diversity of voices in our politics will lead to more robust decisions, and help create a fairer, more inclusive and dynamic society. To date, almost 1000 women have experienced our training and preparation courses.

Since the foundation of the Irish State in 1918, just 114 women have been elected to the Dail in the Republic of Ireland; our Dáil has never been less than 78% male.

The General Election in February 2016 was an important step towards achieving gender equality in Dáil Éireann. 35 women were elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil, an all- time high, 1 in 5 TDs is now a woman. This is a significant increase on the results of the 2011 General Election when just 25 women were elected to the 31st Dáil. Now, with women making up 22% of the 32nd Dáil Ireland ranks 75th in the world, which is both a cause for celebration and a reminder that we still have work to do.

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Women for Election calls on Taoiseach to consider gender balance in Cabinet http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-election-calls-taoiseach-consider-gender-balance-cabinet/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-election-calls-taoiseach-consider-gender-balance-cabinet/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:05:33 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3872 Women for Election has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to consider gender balance when appointing a new Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Chairperson Michelle O’Donnell Keating said Frances Fitzgerald was one of only four female members of Cabinet. Her resignation yesterday reduces that number to just three, pending the appointment of a […]

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Women for Election has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to consider gender balance when appointing a new Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Chairperson Michelle O’Donnell Keating said Frances Fitzgerald was one of only four female members of Cabinet. Her resignation yesterday reduces that number to just three, pending the appointment of a new Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

O’Donnell Keating said it was very positive to hear Taoiseach Leo Varadkar acknowledging the importance of women’s representation in Irish politics last weekend, at the National Women’s Council FemFest event.

She urged the Taoiseach to act on this sentiment and ensure the proportion of women in Cabinet is not diminished by his appointments of a new Tánaiste and Minister.

“It is important that women’s voices are at the centre of policy and political decisions. As the quota for selection legislation has shown, working towards gender balance in politics requires concrete action and practical measures to make any advance.

“While the last election improved female representation in the Dáil significantly, we are still a long way from balanced representation. Now is a time to build upon what we have achieved’’ O’Donnell Keating continued.
O’Donnell Keating said that Fine Gael was the lead party in Government that proposed the gender quota for selection legislation and ensured that it was passed by the Oireachtas.

Thirty-five women were elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil, an all- time high. Yet, women still account for just 22 per cent of TDs and 30 per cent of senators.

 

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We’re Hiring! http://www.womenforelection.ie/were-hiring-2/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/were-hiring-2/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 09:39:44 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3863 Women for Election is looking for a dynamic, goal focussed CEO to lead our organisation and achieve our mission of increasing the number of women in elected office. 2018 is a critical year for us, with the local and European elections scheduled for May 2019. The role focuses on preparing for the next election cycle […]

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Women for Election is looking for a dynamic, goal focussed CEO to lead our organisation and achieve our mission of increasing the number of women in elected office.

2018 is a critical year for us, with the local and European elections scheduled for May 2019. The role focuses on preparing for the next election cycle by developing and delivering our schedule of events, training programmes, fundraising initiatives and advocacy.

Working closely with the Board, the CEO will build on the success of the 2012-2016 election period, which saw the number of women elected nationally increase from 15% to 22%. She or he will be responsible for the overall management of Women for Election, including implementation of strategy, responsibility for achievement of financial targets, and day-to-day operations. The CEO will also play an active role in supporting the Board to deliver its governance responsibilities.

See here for a full job description.

Join us in changing Irish politics for the better by sending a CV and cover letter to niamh@womenforelection.ie by 5pm on Friday 27th of October.

Interviews will be held the week commencing 13th November.

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Women for Election asks Taoiseach for matching funding http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-election-asks-taoiseach-matching-funding/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-election-asks-taoiseach-matching-funding/#respond Sat, 08 Jul 2017 12:28:11 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3842 • Innovative crowdfunding campaign raised €56,000 to train #MoreWomen to run for election Women for Election is calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to provide matching government funds after its successful crowdfunding campaign raised €56,000 to subsidise training 300 women ahead of the 2019 local elections. Women for Election Chairperson Michelle O’Donnell Keating this week wrote […]

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• Innovative crowdfunding campaign raised €56,000 to train #MoreWomen to run for election

Women for Election is calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to provide matching government funds after its successful crowdfunding campaign raised €56,000 to subsidise training 300 women ahead of the 2019 local elections.

Women for Election Chairperson Michelle O’Donnell Keating this week wrote to the Taoiseach to thank him for his personal donation to the campaign and to seek government support.

“We are heartened to see your support for our organisation and its mission to inspire and equip women to succeed in politics. We are pleased too to learn of your intention to increase the number of women parliamentarians within Fine Gael after the next election, and very much hope that we can work with you in achieving that,’’ she said.

The #MoreWomen crowdfunding campaign – run by a team of volunteers with practically no budget – aimed to raise €50,000 to provide subsidised training to 300 women before the 2019 local elections. It surpassed its target and finished with a grand total of €55,927 raised from 822 backers.

O’Donnell Keating said the funding would allow Women for Election to provide introductory training to 300 women, but that the organisation could do more if matching funds were made available by government.

For example, matching funds would enable Women for Election to increase the number of full scholarship places on its programmes ahead of the 2019 elections, provide structured support, events and networking opportunities for elected women at council and Dáil level including in-camera exchanges with international politicians, masterclasses on specific social media platforms and training for particular roles such as chairing committees. It would also enable the organisation to provide training at University level to encourage more young women to contest elections within Student Unions, Clubs and Societies.

Women for Election has a strong track record of providing practical support to inspire, equip and inform women entering politics. Since establishing in 2012, Women for Election has trained more than 1,000 women to take the next step on their political journeys. Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50 per cent had undertaken Women for Election training, while in the 2016 General Election, 40 per cent of the newly elected women TDs had been through the programmes.

“Our cross-party model is innovative internationally, and has been profiled numerous times at European level as an example of good practice. We want to increase our impact in this electoral cycle, with your support. Fine Gael is the party in Government that has done most to promote women’s political participation. The 2012 gender quota legislation was a game-changer, and something your party should be very proud of. We are asking you to build on this by providing match funding to Women for Election to deliver on our mission in the electoral cycle leading up to 2019,’’ O’Donnell Keating wrote.

About Women for Election
Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation that aims to inspire, equip and inform women to succeed in politics. The organisation was founded in 2012 by Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating. Women for Election provides practical supports for women entering politics. The programmes aim to tackle the Five C’s that hold women back from participating in public life – Confidence, Cash, Childcare, Candidate Selection and Culture. For further information about Women for Election, please visit www.womenforelection.ie

Follow Us:
Twitter:@women4election;
Facebook:@womenforelection;
Instagram: @women4electionire;
Hashtag: #MoreWomen

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Red Dog backs Women for Election’s €50,000 crowdfunding campaign http://www.womenforelection.ie/red-dog-backs-women-elections-e50000-crowdfunding-campaign/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/red-dog-backs-women-elections-e50000-crowdfunding-campaign/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:24:53 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3840 Vibrant visual campaign raises €32,000 by half-way stage Proceeds will help train #MoreWomen to get elected Creative agency Red Dog’s vibrant work has helped Women for Election raise almost €32,000 at the half-way stage of its ambitious crowdfunding campaign. Women for Election co-founder Niamh Gallagher said the design had also raised awareness of the organisation’s […]

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  • Vibrant visual campaign raises €32,000 by half-way stage
  • Proceeds will help train #MoreWomen to get elected

Creative agency Red Dog’s vibrant work has helped Women for Election raise almost €32,000 at the half-way stage of its ambitious crowdfunding campaign.

Women for Election co-founder Niamh Gallagher said the design had also raised awareness of the organisation’s goal of getting more women elected by engaging a younger audience with a strong and memorable visual campaign.

“We launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise €50,000 to subsidise training 300 women to stand for election and improve the gender balance in Irish politics. We are very pleased with the response so far which has been boosted by the creative input of Red Dog,” she said.

Red Dog created the look and feel for the campaign including a hero image and a range of assets – everything links to the Indiegogo crowdfunding website at indiegogo.com/projects/morewomen.

The agency also designed the #MoreWomen hashtag, campaign card, badges, beanies, totes and T-shirts.

The wearables are proving popular with donors and will continue to raiseawareness of Women for Election’s goals long after the crowdfunding campaign ends.

Red Dog MD Mary Doherty said: “We reckoned Women for Election needed toengage a younger audience who would appreciate quality creative and enjoy the good karma of helping get more women elected. We believe the strong, vibrant illustrative element gives the campaign energy and impact, particularly on social media channels.’’

Donors can support the campaign by buying perks from as little as €5. The perks include a stylish limited edition screen-printed poster designed by Red Dog which is available for €40.

Red Dog donated its services free of charge to the campaign. The campaign has also enjoyed support from leading poets, writers, historians and photographers including Doireann Ni Ghriofa, Martina Devlin, Pat Liddy and Beta Bajgart who are donating experiences and products such as poems, readings, walking tours and books.

The campaign, which is run entirely by volunteers with backgrounds in areas such as finance, public relations and web design, is also targeting larger donations. For €300 a donor can sponsor a woman on INSPIRE, Women for Election’s one-day programme designed to provide an introduction to political life for interested women. And for €5,000 a donor can help Women for Election put 20 women through that programme.

About Women for Election
Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation that aims to
inspire, equip and inform women to succeed in politics. The organisation was
founded in 2012 by Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating. Women for
Election provides practical supports for women entering politics.

About Red Dog
Red Dog opened for business on November 2nd, 1993 – the morning after
founder Mary Doherty graduated from the National College of Art and Design.
Based in Dublin and with an office in New York, over the last 23 years they have
built their reputation – conceiving, designing, writing, producing and managing
great work that helps their clients’ brands thrive. See www.reddog.ie

About Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money
from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount,
typically via the internet. Crowdfunding is a democratic way to raise money to
fund a project because it taps into a large number of people for a small amount of
money each rather than relying on one big funding source..

Follow Us
Twitter:@women4election
Facebook:@womenforelection
Instagram: @women4electionire
Hashtag: #MoreWomen

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Mayo woman leads €50,000 crowdfunding campaign http://www.womenforelection.ie/mayo-woman-leads-e50000-crowdfunding-campaign/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/mayo-woman-leads-e50000-crowdfunding-campaign/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:22:46 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3838 Innovative campaign raises €30,000 in its first week Funds will subsidise training #MoreWomen to run for election Financial expert Caroline Kirrane is spearheading an innovative crowdfunding campaign which aims to raise €50,000 for Women for Election. Women for Election will use the funds to subsidise training 300 women to stand for election. The Claremorris-born woman, […]

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  • Innovative campaign raises €30,000 in its first week
  • Funds will subsidise training #MoreWomen to run for election

Financial expert Caroline Kirrane is spearheading an innovative crowdfunding campaign which aims to raise €50,000 for Women for Election. Women for Election will use the funds to subsidise training 300 women to stand for election.

The Claremorris-born woman, now adjunct lecturer in Finance at Trinity College Dublin, volunteered to run the innovative campaign after Donald J Trump was elected President of the United States of America last year.

“When I woke up to find Trump had been elected President, despite his controversial attitudes to women, I decided to volunteer with Women for Election to see if I could contribute to improving diversity in politics here.

“My experience in finance and working with startups was enormously useful in co-ordinating this campaign and I’m delighted that I could contribute to Women for Election’s work in this way. We set ourselves an ambitious target of €50,000 for this campaign which is very much an entrepreneurial endeavour run entirely by volunteers.’’

Women for Election’s crowdfunding campaign was launched by Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald at an event hosted at Twitter’s headquarters in Dublin on Thursday evening, June 15th. It aims to tap in to the goodwill of people countrywide who would like to support women entering politics.

“The response to the campaign has been phenomenal. In the first week we already raised €30,000 thanks to Caroline and her team of enthusiastic volunteers.’’ said Michelle O’Donnell Keating, Chairperson of Women for Election.

Women for Election has a strong track record of providing practical support to inspire, equip and inform women entering politics. Since it was founded in 2012, Women for Election has trained more than 1,000 women to take the next step on their political journeys. Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50 per cent were trained on Women for Election programmes, while in the 2016 General Election, 40 per cent of the newly elected women TDs had been through the programmes.

Kirrane said: “We want to see more gender equality in Irish politics. The recent cabinet reshuffle was disappointing in that regard. But this crowdfunding campaign gives everyone the opportunity to help achieve balance by contributing to the work Women for Election does inspiring and supporting women to take the first step and make a difference in politics.”

Anybody who would like to support the campaign can opt for a number of donation options, offering a range of campaign perks. Full details at www.indiegogo.com/projects/more women.

 

Notes for Editors:

About Caroline Kirrane

Caroline Kirrane is Adjunct Lecturer at the Trinity College Business School and a startup adviser. She has a degree in European Business and French from Dublin City University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Trinity College Dublin. Caroline began her career working in a hedge fund in Paris and returned to Dublin to work with US-based proprietary trading firm Susquehanna. She has also held positions in Dexia and FinTech start-up Eagle Alpha. She has most recently worked as an economist with the Central Bank of Ireland. Caroline made headlines last year after she won first prize in the Travel Meets Big Data hackathon.

About Women for Election

Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation that aims to inspire, equip and inform women to succeed in politics. The organisation was founded in 2012 by Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating. Women for Election provides practical supports for women entering politics. The programmes aim to tackle the Five C’s that hold women back from participating in public life – Confidence, Cash, Childcare, Candidate Selection and Culture. For further information about Women for Election, please see womenforelection.ie.

Follow Us: Twitter:@women4election;

Facebook:@womenforelection;

Instagram: @women4electionire;

Hashtag: #MoreWomen

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Cork County Councillor welcomes Women for Election crowdfunding campaign to raise €50,000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/cork-county-councillor-welcomes-women-election-crowdfunding-campaign-raise-e50000/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/cork-county-councillor-welcomes-women-election-crowdfunding-campaign-raise-e50000/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 12:06:06 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3822 • Councillor Deirdre Forde says funds will subsidise training for 300 women running for election Ballincollig-Carrigaline Councillor Deirdre Forde today welcomed Women for Election’s plan to raise €50,000 in an innovative crowdfunding campaign. The funds will be used to subsidise training for about 300 women running for election. Forde, who took part in a Women […]

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• Councillor Deirdre Forde says funds will subsidise training for 300 women running for election

Ballincollig-Carrigaline Councillor Deirdre Forde today welcomed Women for Election’s plan to raise €50,000 in an innovative crowdfunding campaign. The funds will be used to subsidise training for about 300 women running for election.

Forde, who took part in a Women for Election training programme, said that Women for Election has a strong track record of providing practical support to inspire, equip and inform women entering politics.

Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50 per cent were trained on Women for Election programmes, while in the 2016 General Election, 40 per cent of the newly elected women TDs had been through the programmes.

Thirty-five women were elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil, an all-time high. Yet, women still account for just 22 per cent of TDs and 30 per cent of senators.

“It is never too early to prepare for the next election. Women need to get ready to run in the local elections in 2019 and in the next general election. With the help of the training provided by Women for Election, I look forward to seeing even more women represented politically at local and national level,’’ Cllr. Forde said.

Forde added: “My participation in Women for Election showed me that women from all walks of life are needed in politics to enrich and balance decision making and policy. #YouCANdoit”

Women for Election founders Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating said:
“We have come a long way in the five years since we established Women for Election. But building lasting equality in Irish politics will take time. We are now taking the next steps by laying the groundwork for the next phase of our work.

“Our experience is that people really want to see more gender equality in Irish politics. This crowdfunding campaign gives everyone the opportunity to help achieve that by contributing to the work Women for Election does inspiring and supporting women to take the first step and make a difference in politics.”
Anybody who would like to support the campaign can opt for a number of donation options, offering a range of campaign perks. Full details at www.womenforelection.ie/donate.

About Women for Election
Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation that aims to inspire, equip and inform women to succeed in politics. The organisation was founded in 2012 by Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating. Women for Election provides practical supports for women entering politics. The programmes aim to tackle the Five C’s that hold women back from participating in public life – Confidence, Cash, Childcare, Candidate Selection and Culture. For further information about Women for Election, see womenforelectin.ie.

About Councillor Deirdre Forde
Deirdre Forde is a Fine Gael councillor on Cork County Council representing the Ballincollig-Carrigaline area. She was originally elected a Fianna Fail Councillor in 1999, but subsequently ran for Fine Gael.

Follow Women for Election on Social Media
Twitter:@women4election
Facebook:@womenforelection
Instagram: @women4electionire
Hashtag: #MoreWomen

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Wicklow Councillor welcomes Women for Election crowdfunding campaign to raise €50,000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/wicklow-councillor-welcomes-women-election-crowdfunding-campaign-raise-e50000/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/wicklow-councillor-welcomes-women-election-crowdfunding-campaign-raise-e50000/#respond Sat, 17 Jun 2017 12:11:55 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3828 • Councillor Jennifer Whitmore says funds will subsidise training for 300 women running for election Greystones Councillor Jennifer Whitmore today welcomed Women for Election’s plan to raise €50,000 in an innovative crowdfunding campaign. The funds will be used to subsidise training for about 300 women running in the local elections in 2019 and in the […]

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• Councillor Jennifer Whitmore says funds will subsidise training for 300 women running for election

Greystones Councillor Jennifer Whitmore today welcomed Women for Election’s plan to raise €50,000 in an innovative crowdfunding campaign. The funds will be used to subsidise training for about 300 women running in the local elections in 2019 and in the next general election.

Whitmore, who took part in a Women for Election training programme, said that Women for Election has a strong track record of providing practical support to inspire, equip and inform women entering politics.

Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50 per cent were trained on Women for Election programmes, while in the 2016 General Election, 40 per cent of the newly elected women TDs had been through the programmes. Cllr. Whitmore topped the poll in her constituency of Wicklow, getting the third highest percentage of votes in the country and the highest female vote.

Thirty-five women were elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil, an all- time high. Yet, women still account for just 22 per cent of TDs and 30 per cent of senators.

“It is never too early to prepare for the next election. Women need to get ready to run in the local elections in 2019 and in the next general election. With the help of the training provided by Women for Election, I look forward to seeing even more women represented politically at local and national level,’’ Whitmore said.

Whitmore added, “In 2009, only one woman was elected to Wicklow County Council out of 24 councillors. In 2011, this had risen to 7 women, or 22% of the elected members. Whilst this is a good step in the right direction, it is still a long way off being representative. Day-in, day-out I work with fantastic women in the community, and I would love to see some of this expertise and determination transfer over to our political system. A local council that is more representative of our communities will be better for everyone”.

Women for Election founders Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating said:
“We have come a long way in the five years since we established Women for Election. But building lasting equality in Irish politics will take time. We are now taking the next steps by laying the groundwork for the next phase of our work.

“Our experience is that people really want to see more gender equality in Irish politics. This crowdfunding campaign gives everyone the opportunity to help achieve that by contributing to the work Women for Election does inspiring and supporting women to take the first step and make a difference in politics.”
Anybody who would like to support the campaign can opt for a number of donation options, offering a range of campaign perks – get full details at www.womenforelection.ie/donate.

About Women for Election
Women for Election is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation that aims to inspire, equip and inform women to succeed in politics. The organisation was founded in 2012 by Niamh Gallagher and Michelle O’Donnell Keating. WfE provides practical supports for women entering politics. The programmes aim to tackle the Five C’s that hold women back from participating in public life – Confidence, Cash, Childcare, Candidate Selection and Culture. For further information about Women for Election, please visit www.womenforelection.ie.

About Councillor Jennifer Whitmore
Jennifer Whitmore is the Social Democrat Councillor for the Greystones Municipal District in County Wicklow. She was elected in the 2014 local election. Originally from Wexford, Jennifer moved to Australia in 2001 and lived there for 10 years. While in Australia she got her first insight into political life working alongside government Ministers developing environmental law, water management and energy policy.

Follow Women for Election on Social Media
Twitter:@women4election
Facebook:@womenforelection
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More Women Need to Get Ready to Run for Election http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-need-get-ready-run-election/ http://www.womenforelection.ie/women-need-get-ready-run-election/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:21:37 +0000 http://www.womenforelection.ie/?p=3836 By Michelle O’Donnell Keating Women are increasingly visible in senior positions in Irish life. The Tánaiste is a woman, the Chief Justice is a woman, the Director of Public Prosecutions is a woman, the Garda Commissioner is a woman, the Chief Executive Officer designate of the Bank of Ireland is a woman. And there are […]

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By Michelle O’Donnell Keating

Women are increasingly visible in senior positions in Irish life. The Tánaiste is a woman, the Chief Justice is a woman, the Director of Public Prosecutions is a woman, the Garda Commissioner is a woman, the Chief Executive Officer designate of the Bank of Ireland is a woman. And there are 35 women TDs in the Dáil — an all-time high.

This is all good news for those of us who believe that more diversity will lead to more robust decision making and to policies which represent and reflect the needs of the entire population.

Women’s representation in the 32nd Dáil was, of course, helped by the introduction of a gender quota in the 2016 General Election. This required political parties to ensure that at least 30 per cent of their candidates were female or face a 50 per cent loss of state funding.

Women now account for 22 per cent of TDs compared with just 15 per cent in 2011. However, Ireland still ranks just 81st in the Inter Parliamentary Union’s global ranking of countries when measured by female representation in parliament, a reminder, if one were needed, that we still have work to do.

At local level the story is similar: women make up only 16 per cent of elected representatives, an increase of just one per cent in ten years, despite comprising about one third of the membership of the main political parties.

Women for Election has welcomed the quota. But research shows that the reasons for women’s under-representation in politics are complex.

Women appear to be less confident in putting themselves forward for selection than men; they tend to have less access to the financial resources required to stand for election; they find the candidate selection process hard to navigate; they may find the male dominated political culture off-putting; and they find childcare a barrier to entering politics as they are more likely to have this primary responsibility.

Last year, a book  published by two US academics came up with the slightly counter-intuitive conclusion that the vast majority of women who run for office in the United States are treated by the media and voters no differently from men. It concluded that women are under-represented not because of what happens on the campaign trail, but because they are much less likely to run in the first place. And, the authors argued, that misperceptions about bias against female candidates are among the reasons they don’t run.

And while not everyone will agree with those findings, the research certainly confirms our long-held view that if we are to achieve a true republic of opportunity, encouraging women to run should be a key plank in any serious initiative to help improve women’s representation in politics.

Hard measures such as quotas need to be supplemented by additional supports such as training programmes and women’s political networks. And that is where Women for Election has an important role to play. As a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation, we want to see more women in politics and we want to create the opportunity to help them get ready to run.

Tonight (Thursday June 15th) Women for Election is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise €50,000. The funds will subsidise training for 300 women to stand for election. The campaign also aims to encourage more women into politics.

Women for Election has a strong track record of providing practical support to inspire, equip and inform women entering politics. We have trained more than 1,000 women since we were founded in 2012.

Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50 per cent were trained on Women for Election programmes, while in the 2016 General Election, 40 per cent of the newly elected women TDs had been through the programmes.

Our programmes provide high quality political training focused on supporting women to win. Delivered by a variety of experts the programmes cover all aspects of political campaigns, including building committed campaign teams, effective planning and administration, fundraising and budgeting, message development, presentation skills and managing the media.

We aim to inspire women to consider a career in politics, to equip them with the tools and techniques to get elected and to inform them of the benefits of becoming more politically active. We are also urging people to let their friends, colleagues and family members know if they see women they believe have what it takes to make a difference in politics. And to remind them that if they are not in, they can’t win.

Michelle O’Donnell Keating is chair and co-founder of Women for Election. You can donate to the campaign at this link www.womenforelection.ie/donate.

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