Monday 18 December 2017

Only 10 of 70 election candidates are female

Maria Pepper

County Wexford is a poor performer when it comes to the number of women contesting the local elections.

Ten women are seeking election to Wexford County Council out of a field of 70 candidates.

The lowest representation is in New Ross, which has only one woman candidate and 17 men.

Enniscorthy has the highest gender balance, with three women candidates out of a total of 12.

There are two female candidate in Gorey and 16 male candidates.

Four women are seeking election in the Wexford district, as opposed to 18 men.

The overall percentage in Wexford is approximately 14% of women candidates compared to men.

While this is an increase on the local election of 2009 when it was 12.7%, it falls far short of the 30% gender quota which will come into effect at the next General Election.

Wexford's showing is well below the national average of 22% for women running in the local elections.

Around the country, there is a noticeable urban/rural divide with 30% of candidates in urban areas being women, compared to 20% in rural areas.

Dublin is blazing a trail with one in every three candidates in the capital being female.

Left wing parties including Sinn Fein, People Before Profit and Labour are fielding more women candidates than Fine Gael or Fianna Fail.

The organisation Women for Election is predicting that the larger political parties in Wexford will have an uphill struggle to meet the mandatory 30% quota when it comes into force at the next General Election.

Women for Election provides training, support and mentoring to women in Ireland and across Europe, to encourage them to become more politically active.

The women candidates standing in the Enniscorthy district are Kathleen Codd Nolan (Fine Gael) (pictured); Barbara Ann Murphy (Fianna Fail and Annette Moran (Independent).

In the Wexford district, the following female candidates are contesting the election: Sandra Lacey (Fine Gael), Bernie Mullen (Labour), Deirdre Wadding (People Before Profit) and Jane Johnstone (Independent).

In Gorey, the female candidates are Aine Lacey O' Meara (Fine Gael) and Mary Farrell (Independent), while in New Ross, Niamh Fitzgibbon is standing for Fine Gael.

Wexford People

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