A number of 50:50 Group members spanning various generations from across
Ireland sat in the public gallery of Seanad Éireann yesterday to witness
history. Shortly after 11.30am Minister Phil Hogan introduced the
Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2001 to the Seanad. This
Bill includes amongst other things; a proposal to introduce a 30% gender
quota for the candidates of political parties at general elections.
Parties that fail to meet the quota will face a 50% reduction in their
As was mentioned by many of the speakers in the Seanad yesterday, this is
just one small step towards getting more women into Irish politics, there
is a lot more that will need to be done over the next few years, but it is
most definitely a step in the right direction.
In terms of the next steps the need to be taken here in the 50:50 Group we
believe that raising Awareness is key. There is still a huge amount of
confusion out there about what gender quotas will actually mean. We at
50:50 do our best to spread the word but we need your help. As 50:50
Members we are asking you to talk to your own friends, families,
colleagues and neighbours about the reality of women in Irish politics
today. To this end we will be hosting an awareness-raising meeting where
we will give you all you need to go out and talk to people in your own
community about this important issue. We will talk you through an
awareness raising presentation which you can then take home with you to
use as an aid when talking to people in your own communities. If everyone
spoke to just 10 people, imagine the difference we could make?
On the night we will also be hearing from Eilish Corcoran of the Women’s
Manifesto Group in Longford. Eilish will be talking to us about how a
group of Longford women began a campaign to ensure that their voices were
heard in local decision making and advising us on how we can do the same
in our local councils in Dublin. This is an exciting venture which we’re
looking forward to getting off the ground here in Dublin and will need
some volunteers and member support to do so.
Details of the event are as follows:
Date: Thursday 23 February
Place: National Women’s Council of Ireland (New Offices) – 4th Floor,
2/3 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1 (opposite Gate Theatre)
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 21 February
So, lots on the agenda. But it’s important that if the political parties
step up to the plate and introduce gender quotas that we are ready to do
Please feel free to circulate details of this meeting and I’ll be in touch
closer to the time of the meeting with further details. Looking forward
to seeing you on the 23rd.
Enjoy the weekend!
Dublin 50:50 Group