The group Women for Election have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $56,300 (€50,000) stating that “More Seáns and Johns than women elected to the Dáil [Ireland’s Parliament]”. The group plans to use these funds to subsidize training for 300 women to stand for election in Ireland
Their official launch of the crowdfunding campaign, taking place at Twitter HQ in Dublin (June 15th), marks the five-year anniversary of the group and 1,000 women trained so far.
Research carried out by Caroline Kirrane, Adjunct Lecturer at Trinity College Business School, found that there have been more men, with the names Seán and John, than women elected to Dáil Éireann, as members of parliament since 1918. There were 99 Johns and 31 Seáns elected over the last century compared with just 114 women.
The data analysis, carried out for Women for Election, found only 9% of all people elected to the Dáil have been women. So, Ireland’s parliament has been made up of 91% men.
Kirrane is spearheading this innovative crowdfunding campaign which aims to raise €50,000 for Women for Election. Women for Election will use the funds to subsidise training 300 women to stand for election.
The campaign is being launched at Twitter’s headquarters in Dublin and will be followed by a discussion with a panel of high-profile politicians.
Women for Election Chair Michelle O’Donnell Keating said “Thirty-five women were elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil, an all-time high.
“Yet, women account for just 22 per cent of TDs and 30 per cent of senators. We are taking early steps to put in place the funding to train women considering entering political life so that they are ready to run in the next local and general elections.’’
The launch of this campaign marks five years since the organization was founded in 2012. Since then, Women for Election has trained more than 1,000 women to take the next step on their political journeys.
Of the 194 women who secured seats in the 2014 local elections, 50% were trained on Women for Election programs, while in the 2016 General Election, 40% of the successful newly-elected women TDs had been through the programs.
Women for Election co-founder Niamh Gallagher said “Our experience is that people really want to see more gender equality in Irish politics. This crowdfunding campaign gives everyone the opportunity to help achieve that by contributing to the work Women for Election does inspiring and supporting women to take the first step and make a difference in politics.”
For more information or to support their campaign visit www.womenforelection.ie/donate.