On International Women’s Day, Minister Peter Burke announces funding of 129,100 Euros

Mr Peter Burke TD, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage today announced that he has approved funding of €129,100 for Women for Election to continue their essential work encouraging and supporting women interested in being involved in local government.

“I would like to commend Women for Election for their tremendous work over the past year encouraging and supporting women into local politics. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, in 2021 the group’s training programmes engaged 1,250 participants across the country, significantly expanding their reach,” said Minister Burke.

Women for Election is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organisation which encourages and supports women interested in getting involved in politics. The group offers training programmes, events and mentoring supports, which have helped hundreds of women become involved in politics at both national and local level. Founded in 2012, the group has worked in partnership with the Department since 2018, and has seen enormous success, with their programmes engaging more than half of the women councillors who went on to be elected in the 2019 Local Elections.

“Today’s funding approval is part of a series of measures and initiatives aimed at eliminating barriers to the participation of women in local government,” the Minister said.

This announcement comes shortly after the Longford-based SHE Project was awarded €111,072 towards their work in helping to address the significant under-representation of women in local government in rural Ireland. The Department has funded the project since its inception in 2019.

Another key priority is the provision of maternity protection for councillors. In that regard, Minister Burke stated, “My Department has engaged extensively with councillors in relation to the maternity supports they need and with the Office of the Attorney General on legal questions arising. A package of maternity-related measures for councillors, including progressive proposals for legislative change, is being finalised by my Department.”

Concluding, the Minister said, “We are working hard to address the many issues that can act as a barrier to women participating in local government structures and decision making. Women for Election has been an extremely valuable partner to the Department in this work for several years now, and we look forward to continuing to support them as we look towards the local elections in 2024.”

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