WOMEN accounted for less than nine per cent of candidates in the Limerick constituencies in the 2011 general election, according to a new campaign to encourage more women to run.
Suzanne Collins, director of operations and campaigns for Women for Election, urged more women in Limerick to run for the general election.
“In 2011 only there were only a total of two women running across the two Limerick constituencies were there were 23 candidates in total, bringing the percentage of female candidates to just under nine per cent. Women for Election are hopeful that this number can increase across the Limerick constituencies for the next general election,” she said.
Ms Collins said that any women considering running for election in Limerick or who are intending to run campaigns would enhance their chances by taking part in EQUIP 2015, which they are holding with the support of The Ireland Funds.
“Election campaigns, whether you are a candidate or campaign manager are detailed, intricate, pressured and multifaceted. There are numerous factors that must be considered and almost a limitless amount of things that can go wrong and scupper a campaign,” she said.
Labour deputy Jan O’Sullivan is the only Limerick female politician to have had a long running and successful political career at a national level. A number of female politicians have spoken publicly of leaving the political fray due to sexism from men. Of the 40 local councillors, just six are female, representing 15% of all representation. But in the next general election for the first time, the major parties have to select 30 per cent of female candidates or face a financial penalty.
EQUIP’s scholarship programme has been extended to July 24 and is designed to target women who can display an intention to run for election but do not have the financial capability to attend EQUIP. For further details contact firstname.lastname@example.org