Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, today announced that he has approved funding to Women for Election and Longford Women’s Link to support their activities in encouraging the participation of women in local government.

On announcing the funding, Minister Burke said:

I am pleased to be in a position to continue to support the activities of Women for Election and Longford Women’s Link, key partners of my Department in promoting greater participation of women in local government.

Women for Election have received funding from the Department annually since 2018, and this additional funding will allow them to continue with their activities of training potential women candidates, the development of a TY programme and re-igniting a Colleges and University programme for aspiring student politicians.

Longford Women’s Link and their long time collaborators 5050 North West have undertaken a very successful project that involved training potential female candidates in rural areas, while creating awareness of the role of councillors.

One of the key outcomes of the 2019 local elections was that balanced representation remains a significant challenge in rural areas. While Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, for example, has an almost 50:50 gender split of members, this is not the case across the country. A more sustained effort is necessary to address this disparity in the lead up to the 2024 Local Elections.

While the number of women candidates in the local elections increased from 22% in 2014 to 28% in 2019, the numbers of women elected, only rose from 21% in 2014 to only 24% in 2019. This now stands at 25% following co-options. Women for Election and Longford Women’s Link have taken great strides in recent times in increasing their capacity in terms of training, coaching and supports for women. Both organisations have embraced the challenges that 2020 has brought and have increased their reach of potential candidates throughout the year by successfully undertaking online activities to inform and educate potential candidates.

I am pleased to be able to approve this funding enabling Women for Election and Longford Women’s Link to continue to work towards our shared goal of more women in local government.

The funding to be issued is broken down as follows:

  • €43,000 to Women for Election for activities to include a social media and digital communications programme, research, the development of a TY and University programme, and the appointment of a governance consultant.
  • €104,000 to Longford Women’s Link/5050 North West to include training workshops, bespoke hands-on media training, delivery of masterclasses, promotion and information campaigns, research, communications and support towards the development of regional caucuses for women.

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