Gender Quotas and the 2016 General Election

The 5050 group were delighted to attend the conference in UCC on the 28th November 2016 on the impact of the Gender Quotas on the 2016 GE. There was a terrific line up of speakers and they did not disappoint.
In the morning session we heard about the complexity of our electoral system and the extent to which the political parties are the main gate keepers to whom the electorate can choose. We are used to geographical quotas with constituencies and therefore quotas are not completely new. The gender quota is an important addition.
Polling after the GE found that the majority of voters were in favour of gender quotas if it meant adding a greater gender balance to the ballot paper.
In the afternoon we heard from the courageous people who were willing to put themselves forward for election. Some got through and some did not. They spoke very candidly about how difficult it was being the first election in which the quotas applied and the fallout from that. Making that experience a less difficult one is an ambition for the future. If democracy is to flourish then standing as a candidate should not be a traumatic experience.

Well done to everyone involved and a special thank you to 5050 member Dr Fiona Buckley for being the inspiration for the conference.

Week 30 2015 – How Registered Parties are Doing on Gender Quotas?

5050_logoThis is how registered political parties are doing so far on gender balance for the upcoming general election. Fine Gael which has the biggest hill to climb because it has the biggest number of incumbent male TD’s is meeting the quota so far – so well done. Fianna Fail which should be in a better position to select more women is struggling with only 20% selected so far. Renua is also struggling to meet the quota. The United Left is not meeting the quota for men but they do only have one candidate selected so far. The quotas apply to both sexes so smaller parties need to be aware of this.

Registered Party 19/7/2015 Women Men % Women % Men
Anti Austerity Alliance 1 4 20 80
Fianna Fail 7 28 20 80
Fine Gael 13 27 32.5 67.5
Green Party 3 6 33.3 66.6
Irish Democratic Party 0 2 0 100
Labour 8 13 38.1 61.9
People before Profit Alliance 4 6 40 60
Renua 2 9 18 82
Sinn Fein 17 27 38.6 61.4
Social Democrats 2 1 66.6 33.3
United Left 1 0 100 0
Workers & unemployed action group 0 1 0 100
Workers Party 2 2 50 50