Workshop in Knocknaheeny, Cork, Friday 30th January 2015

The 5050 Group, ‘Democracy and Gender; Reinventing the Dail’ Workshop to inform forthcoming General Election
Political parties are gearing up for the General Election and for the first time they will have to implement gender quota legislation – 30% of party candidates must be female candidates. While quotas did not apply in the recent local elections in May, it is timely to reflect on LE14:
• What are the challenges facing female candidates at forthcoming selection conventions?
• What advice would female candidates give to parties?
• Is it more difficult for women to get selected and elected in rural constituencies?
These are some of the questions that will be discussed at a seminar at Cork City Partnership, Knocknaheeny on Friday 30 January from 10-1. The event is being organised by the 5050 Group (Cork). Speakers include:
• Dr. Colette Finn, Chair 5050 Group (Cork) Leadership and Gender.
• Councillors Marion O Sullivan, Lil O Donnell, Mary Rose Desmond, Deirdre Forde, (SF – TBC) and former Councillor Catherine Clancy.
• Dr Margaret O Keeffe, Cork Institute of Technology, Community Development Programme From small ‘p’ to big ‘P’ Politics and Community.

Noirin Clancy, 5050 Group chairperson stated: ‘I think it’s really important to take a close look at the local elections as preparations start for the general election. While the local elections did result in a small increase in women’s representation, this was mainly in urban constituencies’
Colette Finn will discuss the ideas around leadership and the politics of presence. She will outline the various barriers to women’s representation in Irish politics and the evolving concept of leadership as women take their place at the decision making table. Politics is highly male-dominated. Only one in six of our politicians are female. Evolving ideas about women in leadership will encourage women to become more politically empowered.
Many women and men are highly active in their own communities. They see and challenge inequality every day. They work hard to improve their own lives as well as those of their friends and neightbours. They sometimes do not see this community activism for what it actually is: political activism. Margaret O Keeffe will discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in moving from community activism (i.e. small ‘p’ Politics) to electoral politics (i.e. big ‘P’ Politics). The conversation will focus particularly, though not exclusively, regarding the implications of making this transition for women.
This event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Places are limited and early registration is advised. Email: or phone 0876752697

Female commissioners call for gender equality in new Commission

The Education Commissioner urged President Jean-Claude Juncker to appoint at least 10 women in his future new team. Currently, 9 out of 28 commissioners are women.

“We are now in the course of drafting a letter to be signed by all female commissioners addressed to the President Jean-Claude Juncker asking him to appoint at least 10 women in the next Commission I think this will be great for the new Commission.” said EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou.

In an attempt to persuade national governments, Juncker promised to reward countries who appoint female candidates with a big portfolio or vice-presidency.

“The female Commissioners are very worried that the next Commission may not have sufficient number of women.” Vassiliou added.

President-Juncker will start discussions with governments on future commissioners and the distribution of portfolios.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Frederica Mogherini will replace Catherine Ashton as the EU’s head of foreign affairs while Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will be the new president of the European Council.