Female candidates to be given specific supports to help them get elected
The Fianna Fáil Gender Equality Action Plan is a comprehensive new strategy to significantly increase female participation in the party and in public life.
Under the ‘Gender Equality Action Plan’ women will be encouraged to join Fianna Fáil and to stand as candidates in the forthcoming local and national elections. Specific supports will also be put in place to help female candidates get elected, including special training and mentoring programmes.
Other measures in the plan include:
- The appointment of a Gender Equality Officer based in Fianna Fáil Headquarters;
- A target of women making up one-third of the party local election candidates;
- The establishment of a new Fianna Fáil Women Network to organise events for female members and provide support to female candidates;
- A focus on encouraging more women to take up internal leadership positions, for example as constituency chairpersons;
- A requirement for all constituency organisations to draw up their own plans to boost female participation locally.
- The action plan was produced by the Taskforce on Female Participation in Fianna Fáil, which is chaired by Senator Averil Power.
Senator Power explained, “Irish politics has one of the worst gender balances in the world. With men making up 85% of our Councillors and TDs, women are massively underrepresented in local and national decision-making. Fianna Fáil is determined to help change this by encouraging more women to put themselves forward as candidates and giving them extra supports to help them get elected.
“Not only is this a core element of the party renewal process, it will also help make our political system more representative and improve the quality of political decision-making,” explained Senator Power.
The Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin commented, “The dramatic underrepresentation of half the population in our government distorts our political culture and weakens our political decision-making. It is a systemic problem that can only be tackled through a willingness to overturn long-established practices.
“I am determined that Fianna Fáil will lead the way on achieving a greater gender balance within politics. That is why I established the Taskforce to pave the way for change within our party. I fully support the recommendations and I will set up an Implementation Group to immediately to begin the roll out of these plans,” said Deputy Martin.