128 days after the General Election we finally have a draft Programme for Government – after weeks of hard negotiations the three parties have put together a programme outlining the direction of travel they would like to see the country take over the next five years. It is now over to the party members of those 3 parties as to whether it becomes the basis for our next government.
While it is good to see that the draft Programme for Government has addressed gender and diversity in political life and particularly in local politics, it is disappointingly vague in what it sets out to do. We know what needs to be done, we know what works – we don’t need to examine further mechanisms. We know a quota would for local elections will work and Women for Election will work with the next government to see that happen. In the meantime, the next government needs to make a serious commitment to see more women in political life. A balanced cabinet would be a start, nominating women to the Seanad would make a difference – we need to see #MoreWomen across all levels of political life. Do please let your local TD know (and if you are a TD, do please remind your party leader).
To help see more women in political life we’ve been rolling out our online training programme – this week we heard from Pat Montague again when he again took us through the political structures in Ireland. This is a great introduction for anyone who is interested in Irish political life, but isn’t quite sure of how things work. It’s proven very popular the two times we’ve run it recently, and it’ll be something we will come back to in the autumn. If it’s something you’re interested in, and haven’t yet been able to join us do keep an eye out!
Next week we will be hearing from Ailbhe Smyth – academic, feminist, LGBT activist and campaigner who will be chatting with Alison O’Connor writer, broadcaster and journalist. It will be a fascinating conversation. If you’d like to join us do please register (details are below). As always, if you’re in a position to give us a donation we’d really appreciate it! Our fundraising has been badly hit during the Covid crisis.
As we head into the weekend, let’s hope for some fine weather – so we can get out and about locally (while social distancing) and make the most of the weekend.
We are delighted to welcome Activist and Academic, Ailbhe Smyth to the In Conversation With.. hot seat. Ailbhe is a political campaigner who was apart of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s and a founding director of the Women’s Education, Resource and Research Centre (WERRC), University College Dublin (UCD).
Ailbhe will be speaking to journalist, columinist and WfE supporter Alison O’Connor on Thursday the 25th of June at 2pm.
Our Working Together Webinars are free, however if you are in the position to make a donation, you can do so here.