With the General Election having been called, Women For Election CEO Ciairín de Buis is urging all parties to aim for at least a 40% gender balance amongst their candidates. Currently the legislation requires that each party have at least 30% women running in general elections, or they will lose half their state funding. This will increase to 40% in the following election, but Women for Election are asking all parties to be ambitious now.
Ciairín de Buis, CEO of Women for Election said “The 30% requirement is the bare minimum, we’re calling on the parties to be much more ambitious and to aim for a more balanced ticket. We would like to see the parties running at least 40% women. It may be stating the obvious – but if we want to see more women elected, we need to see more women running for election.” Ireland has a significant problem with its gender balance in political life; while women are more than ½ the population we are less than ¼ of our elected politicians.
Ciairín de Buis, CEO of Women for Election, continued: “This General Election is historic in that for the first time (as far as we know), there is at least one woman running in every constituency. We saw in the local elections in May that when women ran, they were just as likely to get elected*. Now we have the chance to see more women elected to the Dáil, the parties need to make sure there are more women on the ticket and so the electorate then have the chance to elect more women.”
Research has shown that when women are on the ballot they get elected. It has been proven that when women run they are just as likely as men to be elected, the problem is getting women on the ballot.
McElroy and Marsh, 2010, Candidate Gender and Voter Choice: Analysis from a Multimember Preferential Voting System