We have a lot to celebrate this International Women’s Day as 2018 represents a historic opportunity to mark social progress towards gender equality and motivate us to achieve full equality. February 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. This law gave women of property over the age of 30 the right to vote for the first time. 1918 also saw the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act which gave this same group of women the right to stand for election, be elected to, sit and vote in the House of Commons. Eleven women stood in the 1918 elections with Countess Markievicz being the only woman elected to parliament. While this was far from full equality in political representation it represented a seismic shift for society and for women.
As International Women’s Day 2018 approaches, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on this centenary and the power of campaigns such as #Votáil100 #MeToo #MoreWomen #TimesUp. These all highlight women’s determination to move past a debate around the benefits of gender equality towards definitive action for change.
The Local Elections of 2019 are just around the corner and a surprise General Election over the coming years cannot be ruled out. Women for Election want you to ask: “What is my role?” Will I vote? Will I be part of a campaign? Will I run?
We must remember, to achieve change, we must be the change. If we wish to see more women elected to our political structures, then we must be the women who raise our hands and say:
“I will support other competent women” and “I will run!”.
This International Women’s Day, Women for Election worked with Facebook’s in-house creative team for our latest campaign. Over the coming weeks, look out for our Facebook campaign. Meet and chat with Cara, our artificial intelligent candidate, and contact us! We are currently planning our programme of trainings and supports which will be deployed across Ireland over the coming 12 months leading up to the Local Elections 2019 and we want to support you!
Finally, we wish you all a wonderful International Women’s Day 2018 and hope that you find the opportunity to celebrate it alongside other fabulous women!