Published on 

Minister Peter Burke announces funding of €126,159 to Women for Election to support more female participation in local politics

Peter Burke, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, today (Monday 8 March) announced that he has approved funding of €126,159 for Women for Election to support their activities, which involve promoting and encouraging women to participate in local government. The approval coincides with International Women’s Day and is part of the Department’s overall strategy to overcome barriers and increase female participation in local government.

“I commend Women for Election for their work and vision to reach potential female candidates and provide them with the necessary supports and training to run for election,” said Minister Burke.  “Their results to date, supporting dozens of successful female candidates, speak for themselves and I look forward to ongoing collaboration with Women for Election in the build-up to the 2024 local elections,” he added.  “It is a priority of mine to see more female candidates being supported and encouraged to take a first step into Local Government and I know our communities and politics will be benefit significantly from this.  I am also concerned about retention of female councillors, and my Department is currently reviewing supports including maternity provisions for Councillors.”  The Minister stated that he hoped there would be progress to report on these matters in the near future."

Women for Election is a non-profit organisation that encourages and supports women in Ireland to run for politics and since 2018,  has been a key partner of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, supporting the shared objective of increasing female representation in local politics. The funding announced today will support the organisation’s activities in 2021 including mentoring, networking and engagement with potential candidates, the running of the INSPIRE campaign school and also to further develop the very successful ‘In Conversation with …’ series.

This announcement of funding approval follows the recent launch of research undertaken by Women for Election entitled ‘More Women – Changing the face of politics – Women’s experience of running for election in Ireland’.  This research will inform key actions and policies over the coming period.

The Minister concluded, “My Department will continue to work closely with key stakeholders, such as Women for Election, toward the 2024 Local Elections. I believe that now is the time to take action to ensure that we have more balanced representation on our ballot papers and in our Councils over the coming years.”