THE NUMBER OF confirmed candidates for the next general election – whenever that will be – already exceeds the total number of women who ran in 2011.
According to Women for Election, some 89 women have so far confirmed their candidacy. Director of Operations Suzanne Collins said the face of Irish politics “has the potential to be significantly transformed” in the next election.
As of now the 89 women intending to contest the upcoming election make up just over 30% of the currently declared candidates compared to just 15% in 2011. New gender quotas require the larger parters to meet the minimum level of 30% female candidates and Collins said that the number of women running is likely to increase once more independents emerge.
On current figures, of those women selected by the larger parties 87% are currently elected at either local or national level. If women who have previously run for local or national election are included in this group, it rises to 93%. So the women selected so far by the parties subject to the gender quota for selection are proven campaigners, vote getters and seat winners.
Women for Election is running a three-day residential political campaign school EQUIP from the 7-9 of September to train, mentor and support women to run winning campaigns. This will include advice from international experts on building a team, campaign strategy, media training, social media strategy, advice on how to read polls, pitch stories to local and national media, good campaign governance and fundraising.