Header Ads

Breaking News

General Election 2020: History made as every Irish constituency fields a female candidate for the first time


History has been made as this race for the Dail marked the first ever general election in which every constituency fielded a female candidate – but the 33rd Dail looks set to remain overwhelmingly male.

Of the 530 candidates who asked for the public’s support on Saturday, 162 were women, according to Women for Election and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

This meant that women made up 31 per cent of the candidates campaigning for a seat in the new Dail.

It also meant there were more than twice as many men running in each constituency as there were women.

As of tea time on Sunday, 19 of the 160 Dail seats had been filled.



Rose Conway-Walsh, Sinn Féin celebrates with her supporters after being elected on the first count at the General Election Count Centre in the TF Royal Hotel in Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Of these, three of the newly elected representatives are women: Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and her party colleagues Kathleen Funchion and Rose Conway-Walsh.

As counting continued, the CEO of Women for Election, an NGO that supports women entering politics, said the prospects for gender equality in the new government remain slim.

Ciairín de Buis told the Irish Mirror: “It doesn’t look like there’s going to be significant progress in achieving gender balance in the Dail.

“That was unfortunately somewhat inevitable when the three largest parties didn’t run a very balanced ticket.

“However, traditionally women have often filled the last seat in constituencies, so we have to wait and see.”

Despite the historic number of female candidates this time round, only two more women candidates ran in this campaign than did so in the 2016 General Election.

In that election, a record 35 women were elected to the Dail out of 158 representatives.

But Ms de Buis said it was important for female party leaders – such as Mary Lou McDonald – to be visible in politics.

The CEO said: “If you looked at the early television debates, you would think that there were no women in politics and that isn’t the case.

“And if you were a young child at home watching it, you might think that politics isn’t a career for women. But it’s very important that we see what we can be.

“So it makes a significant difference having women party leaders, whether they be Mary Lou McDonald or the two co-leaders of the Social Democrats, Roisin Shorthall and Catherine Murphy.”

As counting continued on Sunday night in centres around the country, one woman whose party did very well was Mary Lou McDonald, who was re-elected to her Dublin Central constituency.

The Sinn Fein leader branded this election as “historic”.

Ms McDonald said that her party was not “tied in the way that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have been to vested interests and to the big power brokers in the State.

“So I think it’s fair to say that this election has been historic. It’s something of a revolution in the ballot box,” she said.

“Many, many young people but also older people who hadn’t voted before came out because they now believe that politics can deliver and politics can relate directly to their lives.”

This campaign marked the second General Election in which gender quotas have been in place.

Under the quotas, 30 per cent of the candidates that each party puts forward must be women.



Source link

No comments