Women for Election, the non-partisan, independent organisation that has trained women to stand for election since 2012, is calling on women across Galway to sign up for its next INSPIRE Campaign School, which starts on-line on Wednesday, September 29.
Currently 37 of 160 TDs are women. Across the two constituencies in Galway there were nine Dáil seats available and four women were elected, one in Galway East and three in Galway West.
Galway West has one of the highest levels of female representation in the country, but the number of women who stood for election was low. Of the 27 candidates across both constituencies, just six were women.
Of the 18 Galway city councillors elected, five are women (27 per cent ). Of the 39 Galway county councillors elected, seven are women (17 per cent ). Across the country, the average representation for women on local councils is 25 per cent.
“When decisions are made about our lives, our homes, our communities, our businesses, the diversity and value of women’s contribution is largely missing from our politics,” says Caitriona Gleeson, CEO of Women for Election. “A 50/50 gender balance in all levels of government is key to Ireland becoming a thriving vibrant society. But we have a long way to go to get there, based on current figures.
“We can change this, starting with greater equality and diversity in local participation and local representation for women. Key to this is providing women from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures with the training, tools and resilience to come forward as local area or local community representatives, to stand for election and to withstand challenges that they may face as elected representatives.”
The Women for Election INSPIRE Campaign school runs over three consecutive weeks, with training in three key themes with three nationally recognised leaders and mentors: Confidence with Orlaith Carmody on September 29; Communications with Margaret E. Ward on October 6; and Campaigning with Pat Montague on October 13. Training sessions start at 6:30pm and run for up to three hours, with breaks. The cost is €50. Concessionary rates are available as well as scholarship places.