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Why more women are needed in City Hall

Thu, Mar 21, 2019

A number of the women running for election in May's Local Elections (LtoR): Sharon Nolan (Som Dems), Clodagh Higgins (FG), Colette Connolly (Ind), Mairead Farrell (SF), Pauline O'Reilly and Martina O'Connor (Greens), and Terry O'Flaherty (Ind)

Irish politics needs more women. With the upcoming Local Elections, we are presented with a great opportunity to expand the number of women involved, especially as, currently, the national average of women’s representation at local councils is at 21 per cent.

The Galway City Council is performing under average with the sitting council having just three out of 18 seats (17 per cent) being held by women. Galway city’s political history is somewhat sparse of women, but there have been some great representatives over the years. The first woman mayor of Galway city was Mary Byrne back in 1975, yet only seven women have ever held the mayorship in the history of our city.

The 2016 General Election was the first to have a 30 per cent gender quota. A similar quota is not being enforced for the upcoming Local Elections. As it stands, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are both failing to meet the 30 per cent mark of women candidates, but smaller parties such as the Greens, Social Democrats, People Before Profit, Solidarity, and Labour are faring much more equally - with all these parties having at least 40 per cent of their candidates being women in the upcoming elections.


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