• Liadh Ní Riada says funds will subsidise training for 300 women running for election
Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Riada today welcomed Women for Election’s plan to raise €50,000 in an innovative crowdfunding campaign. Women for Election will use the funds to subsidise training 300 women to stand for election.
Ní Riada, 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 successful 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.
Ní Riada said: “While great advances have been made in recent years to increase the number of women in public life much more work needs to be done. We must look at removing the obstacles that make it difficult for women to play a full role in public life, such as affordable childcare and a more manageable work/life balance.
“For our part, Sinn Féin is committed to supporting and promoting women in politics. Of our four MEPs in the European Parliament, three are women. Three of the five Sinn Féin ministers in the northern Executive were women and Michelle O’Neill now heads up our Stormont team.
“Women for Election was my first port of call when it came to running for the European Parliament in 2014. They were fantastic in providing support and skill sets that I still find invaluable to this day. Women for Election is about empowering women and putting them on an equal footing with men,’’ Ní Riada added.
“There is a need for real proactive steps to support women to enter and advance in political and public life. This means making real changes and Women for Election has been instrumental in helping make the advances we saw at the last election. They intend to build on that good work in the future and both I and Sinn Féin fully support them.”
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, please see womenforelection.ie.
About Liadh Ní Riada
Liadh Ní Riada is a Member of the European Parliament for the South constituency, representing Sinn Féin. She is a native speaker of the Irish language and is a television producer and director, as well as Sinn Féin’s Irish language officer. With a background in media, Liadh has over twenty years’ experience of working as a producer and director with RTE and TG4. She was a member of the Bord which set-up TG4 and developed its broadcasting philosophy and financial structures. Fluent in Irish and French, she is a vocal advocate for Irish language rights.
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