New training programmes to tackle issue of women in Westmeath local politics

With only four women currently elected to Westmeath County Council out of 20 councillors, Women for Election has launched its new training calendar to help attract and support more women to enter and succeed into local politics in advance of the next local elections in 2024.

The Autumn and Winter training and events calendar has a comprehensive offering both online and in person which are taking place in various counties across Ireland.

“While May 2024 may seem far away for many of us, for anyone considering running for Local Elections, now is the time to get involved. Our trainings are aimed for every woman, whether they want to find out more about politics, support a woman to run, explore what it means to run, or re-run for election, we have something for everybody.

‘We know that women are so involved across community groups and leadership roles in Westmeath, yet the number of women involved at decision making tables doesn’t reflect that. Nationally, women make up only 26% of Councillors and in Westmeath it stands at an even lower 20%. It is critical that women’s voices are represented at all levels of decision making. With the Local Elections approaching in 2024 now is the ideal time to get involved in politics and put your name forward to represent your community. Women for Election is here to support that journey,” aitríona Gleeson, CEO of Women for Election, said.

The trainings include Introduction to Politics which informs participants about the structures of politics, the INSPIRE Campaign School which covers confidence, communications and campaigning and the EQUIP Campaign Programme which is an intensive training for women who are getting ready to run for election or manage another women’s campaign, along with many other workshops and events. The trainings are bespoke to help address some of the barriers to women accessing politics and delivered by highly experienced trainers including Orlaith Carmody, Margaret E Ward, Pat Montague and Dermot Ryan.

Most trainings are offered for free and for any training with a cost attached, there are bursaries and concessionary rates available as Women for Election don’t want cost to be a barrier to accessing these trainings.

The calendar is available at


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