New training programmes have been launched to tackle the low level of women in local government.
Women for Election, a Dublin-based training company, has launched its new training calendar to help attract and support women in entering and succeeding in local politics.
The push is aiming to increase involvement across the county in advance of the 2024 local authority elections.
The training events are being held nationwide and offer both in-person and online options.
Courses include ‘Introduction to Politics’, which covers the local political structure, the INSPIRE Campaign School, which covers confidence, communications and campaigning, and the EQUIP Campaign Programme, intensive training for women who are getting ready to run for election or manage another women’s campaign.
The trainings on offer are designed to help address some of the barriers to women accessing politics, and feature trainers such as Orlaith Carmody, co-founder of Gavin Duffy and Associates and Margaret E Ward, CEO Clear Ink and Broadly Speaking.
Catríona Gleeson, CEO of Women for Election said that “while May 2024 seem far away for many of us, for anyone considering running for Local Elections, now is the time to get involved.
“Our trainings are aimed for every woman, whether they want to find out more about politics, support a woman to run, explore what it means to run, or re-run for election, we have something for everybody”.
Currently in Galway only seven women sit on the Galway County Council out of a possible 39 (18 per cent).
In the city only five out of eighteen councillors are women (28 per cent).
“We know that women are so involved across community groups and leadership roles in Galway, yet the number of women involved at decision making tables doesn’t reflect that,” Gleeson said of the figures.
“Nationally, women make up only 26 per cent of Councillors […] It is critical that women’s voices are represented at all levels of decision making. With the Local Elections approaching in 2024 now is the ideal time to get involved in politics and put your name forward to represent your community. Women for Election is here to support that journey,” she added.
Most of the trainings being offered are free but for any that do have a cost attached bursaries and concessionary rates are available in an effort to prevent cost being a barrier to access.