Political boot camp aims to get more Mayo women in the Dáil

Participants at Equip 2013

Participants at Equip 2013

A non-partisan group which campaigns to get more women involved in politics is aiming to increase the number of female TDs in the county.

Women for Election says female representation in local politics in Mayo increased from 13 to 17 per cent after the last local elections in May 2014 and it is hoping to build on that success to see more female representation in the Dáil too.

Women for Election is running a three-day political boot camp for women, called EQUIP, in Athlone this September and is encouraging women from Mayo to sign-up for the school.

The school will teach women about campaign strategies and campaigning skills, such as canvassing, public speaking and media training.

“This is the first general election where the major parties will have to select 30 per cent of women as candidates or face financial penalties," explained Michelle O'Donnell Keating, chairperson of Women for Election.

"This means that there is greater opportunity than ever for Mayo women to get on the ticket," she continued.

"Currently there is only one female TD [Deputy Michelle Mulherin] across the constituency. Following the local elections last year, 17 per cent of councillors on Mayo County Council are women and this represented a four per cent increase from 2009 so Women for Election is hopeful that the constituency can increase female representation in the Dáil.

“Women for Election want to encourage as many women as possible from Mayo to take part in EQUIP so some scholarships are available. Any women interested in taking part or finding out more can email equip@womenforelection.ie or call (01 ) 6728050," advised Ms O'Donnell Keating.

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