Historical perspective can help us to appreciate how far women have come in their struggle for equality, both within and outside of politics. The 1979 Local Elections prove an interesting reflection on women in public life, as it was the year that a young Mary Robinson was first elected to Dublin City Council.  With this in mind, we sourced a report by John Colgan on the 1979 local elections in Leinster in order to do a neat comparison between then and now.

In 1979, out of 858 candidate names on tickets across the Leinster counties, just 90 were women (10.5%) and 23 of these women were incumbents. Only 17 female sitting councillors were re-elected and only ten of the 67 newcomers won a seat. Fine Gael put forward 35 women – the highest number of female candidates out of Fianna Fáil, The Labour Party, minority parties and Independents – 16 of these women were elected. The Labour Party put two women forward, both of whom were elected. Fianna Fáil fared worst as only five of the 25 women contesting won a seat. No Independent female candidates, or women from minority parties were elected.

In 2014, the pre-election situation has certainly improved. In Leinster to date there are approximately 644 candidates on the ticket, 181 are women (27.2%). The Labour Party, Sinn Féin, The People Before Profit Alliance, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and other left wing groups are currently fielding the most women with a collective average of 31.8%. Women make up a quarter of all Independent and Green Party candidates. Fianna Fáil has the lowest percentage of women on its ticket in Leinster at just 18.6%, while 26.9% of Fine Gael candidates are women.

Nationally, women account for 24% of the 1192 local election candidates.

Latest Tweets

Our INSPIRE Campaign School kicked off last night, where we welcomed so many future leaders who are ready to take the next step in their political journey. Watch this space! #MoreWomen

Thanks also to @OrlaithCarmody for this insightful session on #confidence.

If we want #MoreWomen we need to talk to men. Looking forward to interviewing An Taoiseach @MichealMartinTD on #IWD2021 in what I believe is the first male politician to be interviewed for the @women4election ’In Conversation With’ series? Register here 👇 #MoreWomen #IWD2021 https://twitter.com/women4election/status/1364236061443043330

Great to see @peterburkefg progressing the Moorehead recommendation to remunerate Councillors in line with standardised pay and conditions.

This will help make it possible for #MoreWomen to put themselves forward for election.


This #InternationalWomensDay, we'll be joined by An Taoiseach, @MichealMartinTD for a special edition of 'In Conversation With...'

An Taoiseach will be speaking to broadcaster and journalist, @DearbhailDibs

Join us for #IWD2021, March 8th @ 2pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Je-hoEsYQPqS5QaeIypZaQ?mc_cid=dc3446e0f2&mc_eid=9f79571679