JOIN THE COUNTESS MARKIEVICZ CIRCLE
The Countess Markievicz Circle is an opportunity for both men and women to support Women for Election in their mission to see balanced representation in Irish public life. We are committed to driving through real change to transform Irish politics for the better. We passionately believe that more female politicians will lead to more robust decisions and help create a fairer, more inclusive society, better equipped to face the challenges of the future.
We would like your support to help us transform Irish political life both for our generation and for generations to come. By supporting us you can become part of this movement for change.
The Story so far:
- Since we began in 2012 we have trained over 800 women across Ireland & Europe
- In February 2016 35 women elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil
- 19 are first time TDs, 16 are incumbents, 40 % are Women for Election Alumnae
- 163 women contested the general election in 2016, an increase from 86 in 2011
- In May 2014 196 women were elected to local councils: a 33% jump since 2009
- 180 of the European and local election candidates in 2014 came through Women for Election programmes and over 50% of them were elected
- The majority of Irish MEPs are now women: 6 out of 11 (55%)
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
- Invitation to members only club
- Invitation to a minimum of 3 exclusive Countess Markievicz events each year with key influencers ranging from Irish and International political experts, business leaders and members of the media
- Access and networking opportunities to a wide variety of influential leaders across politics, business, civil society from Ireland and abroad
- An opportunity to support and influence Women for Election Strategy to address the need for greater balance in Irish public life
- Become an ambassador for Women for Election, play your role in promoting a more equal society for this generation and the next
- €1,500 per year for a minimum of 3 years
- A commitment to host an event in your home or workplace to profile Women for Election and to build the movement
WHO WAS COUNTESS MARKIEVICZ
Constance Gore-Booth (1868 –1927) was a politician, revolutionary, suffragette and socialist who devoted her life to campaigning for the poor and disposed and blazed a trail for women in politics today.
Born into a wealthy Anglo-Irish family in Lissadell County Sligo, she studied art in London and Paris where she met and married her husband a wealthy polish Count, Casimir Markievicz. Upon settling in Dublin the Markievicz’s became involved in the arts scene in Dublin at a time when the city was experiencing a cultural awakening. She joined the women’s branch of the revolutionary Sinn Féin despite their initial skepticism given her privileged background. Like her sister Eva who was involved in the suffragette movement in the UK, Constance become increasingly more radicalised and it was at this point that the three convictions -feminism, socialism and nationalism that were to guide her for the rest of her life were formed.
She played a leading role during the 1916 rising for which she was sentenced to 18 months in an English prison and was greeted with a hero’s welcome upon her return to Dublin. In 1918, she was elected as a Sinn Féin candidate in Dublin St Patrick’s Ward whilst still in prison, becoming the first ever woman elected to the British Parliament. Along with the other 72 elected members of Sinn Féin she refused to take up her seat in Westminster and was appointed as Minister for Labour in the Dublin Government, making her Ireland’s first female Cabinet Minister.
She left Government following the Treaty and although she was by then 54 years of age she fought with the anti-treaty side during the civil war. She helped de Valera found Fianna Fáil in 1926 and was elected to the Dáil again but died shortly after in a public hospital surrounded by the poor, as was her wish. Thousands of mourners attended her funeral and she was laid to rest in Glasnevin cemetery.