*Cllr Mary Howard (FG) is one of four female councillors in Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward
GENDER EQUALITY AND diversity in local Government will be the main item on the agenda during an event in Ennis this morning (Tuesday).
‘Promoting Gender Equality & Diversity in Local Government’, will take place on Tuesday, May 17th from 10.30am to 2pm in glór, Ennis and will include a panel discussion with local and national politicians as well as speakers from diverse groups.
Details of the See Her Elected ‘Introduction to Politics’ course for County Clare women will also be unveiled on the day. The SHE programme is a rural strategy to address the under-representation of women in politics in rural Ireland.
Organisers are hopeful a strong female turnout will be present. The Government funded project will be held in collaboration with Clare County Council.
The ‘Introduction to Politics’ course for County Clare women runs for free on Zoom over two consecutive weeks on Monday, May 23rd and May 30th as a follow up to the in person seminar. The ‘Introduction to Politics’ course from the See Her Elected Project aims to empower women in County Clare to engage in electoral politics. The free online SHESchool course is for anyone who wants to start to build up a bit of knowledge about what politics is and how politics works. The classes will run twice on each date in a bid to fit into day-to-day life with a morning option from 11-12.30pm and an evening option from 7.30-9p.m.
Dr Michelle Maher, programme manager with SHE explained, “We want to see more women being elected to county councils. Our free online #SHESchool which is all about explaining local politics, where you fit in, and what you can do to have a say in what goes on. Only 26% of county councillors throughout Ireland are female and we have a much lower percentage of female councillors in rural counties compared to more urban centres such as Dublin. There are only 4 women out of 28 councillors on Clare County Council and it was 1979 before women were first elected to Clare County Council when Madeline Taylor and Patricia McCarthy were elected”.
She recounted, “In total only nine women have ever been elected. It is important to have a female perspective at decision making level as this will ensure more balanced decisions are made on a range of issues which matter to us as women whether that’s climate change, employment, parenting, care or violence against women for example”.
Tickets for the event in glór, Ennis on Tuesday, May 17th are free of charge but those interested in attending must register on glór’s website.