Parties fail in gender quotas

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GENDER quotas need to be brought in for local elections as the top two political parties fail to ensure that at least 30% of their candidates are female, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) insists.

Under a recent Government initiative, parties who reach the target of 30% female local election candidates qualify for extra funding of €250 per female candidate.

Political parties failing to achieve this benchmark will receive €100 in extra funding per female candidate.

And while women account for 28.3% of the 1,979 local election candidates this year, just 21.2% of Fianna Fail’s candidates are women. Just 29% of Fine Gael’s candidates are women. Under the gender quota system for general elections, parties who fail to ensure 30% of their candidates are female lost their State funding.

This gender quota system must also be brought in for local elections, said NWCI director Orla O’Connor.

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