New programme to attract more Limerick women into politics

Limerick female councillors at the launch of the Limerick Womens Caucus (from left) Sarah Kiely, Catherine Slattery, Sasa Novak, Olivia O'Sullivan, Brigid Teefy, Bridie Collins, Elena Secas and Elisa O'Donovan. Sharon Benson is missing from photograph.

WITH only nine women among the 40 elected members of Limerick City and County Council, the ‘Women for Election’ group has launched a new training programme to help attract more women into politics ahead of the next local elections in 2024.

The group’s Autumn and Winter Training and Events calendar has a comprehensive offering both online and in person, scheduled for various counties including Limerick.

Women for Election chief executive Caitríona Gleeson said that while May 2024 may seem far away, now is the time to get involved for anyone considering running for Local Elections.

“Our trainings are aimed for every woman, whether they want to find out more about politics, support a woman to run, explore what it means to run, or re-run for election, we have something for everybody.’

Referring to the low representation of women politicians in Limerick, she said that while women are involved across community groups and leadership roles in Limerick, the number of women involved at decision making tables doesn’t reflect that.

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“Nationally, women make up only 26 per cent of councillors and in Limerick it stands at an even lower 23 per cent”, she explained.

“It is critical that women’s voices are represented at all levels of decision making and  Women for Election is here to support them on that journey.

“The training sessions include Introduction to Politics which informs participants about the structures of politics, the INSPIRE Campaign School which covers confidence, communications and campaigning and the EQUIP Campaign Programme which is an intensive training for women who are getting ready to run for election or manage another women’s campaign, along with many other workshops and events.

“The sessions are bespoke to help address some of the barriers to women accessing politics and delivered by highly experienced trainers including Orlaith Carmody, Margaret E Ward, Pat Montague and Dermot Ryan.

“Most sessions are offered for free and, for any training with a cost attached, there are bursaries and concessionary rates available as Women for Election don’t want cost to be a barrier to accessing these trainings,” Ms Gleeson added.

The calendar is available here