The Fianna Fáil Party Leader, Micheál Martin, today launched the Report of the Markievicz Commission. The Commission, established by Deputy Martin to examine how Fianna Fáil can ensure greater female participation in politics, was chaired by Professor Yvonne Galligan of Queen’s University, Belfast. The Commission’s Report outlines how the Party will increase female participation in politics and reach the statutory requirement of 30% of the party’s candidates being female in the next General Election.
The key recommendations of the report are:
- To reach the minimum 30% candidate gender threshold, the Party should select between 20 and 27 women candidates depending on the overall number of candidates put forward.
- A structured mentoring programme should be put in place to guide and support individual females coming forward and expressing an interest in seeking election.
- Fianna Fáil candidate workshops will begin immediately to encourage, identify and support women who may be successful in seeking the Party nomination for the general election.
- Fianna Fáil will bring forward legislation extending the requirement for 30% of candidates to be female to apply to local government elections
Speaking on the publication of the Report, Deputy Martin commented: “We have a huge opportunity in Fianna Fáil to be at the forefront of gender equality when it comes to representation of women in the Houses of the Oireachtas. As a Party which has often led the way in the area of gender equality in the political arena, I am delighted with the work Professor Galligan and her colleagues on the Commission have carried out. It represents a constructive challenge to the entire party organisation which I am determined we will meet.
“Fianna Fáil has a long and proud tradition of representing the diverse views and experiences of the Irish people. In making sure that we continue to do so, it is critically important that we ensure significant and meaningful female participation at every level of the organisation. The General Election in 2011 was a major setback for this party, returning no female members of Dáil Éireann. In implementing the recommendations of this Report, I am determined to ensure that this never happens again.”