More Women in the Dail - Petition from Claiming Our Future

15 Feb 2011

Press Release Sunday Feb 13th

Claiming Our Future Alliance Warns Political Parties to Take Action to Ensure More Women Candidates in Future Elections as Fewer than 1 in 6 Running for Election are Female

- Group calls for next Govt to slash some of the annual €13 Million funding to political parties if they fail to increase number of women candidates running in next Elections.

The Claiming Our Future movement has said that with women making up fewer than 1 in 6 of the candidates in the current election it is vital that all political parties run more women candidates in future elections.

The group has called for measures to be put in place so that if the parties fail to run more women candidates they will lose some of the €13 million per year funding that the parties currently receive from the tax payer.

The Claiming our Future movement is a broad alliance for political, social and economic reform that has achieving political reform as one of the key elements of its programme to build a more equal, sustainable and prosperous Ireland.

The movement was launched at a highly successful event of over 1,000 people in the RDS last autumn. Within that broad objective of political reform, Claiming Our Future has identified equal political representation between men and women as one of the primary tasks.

Claiming our Future has launched an on-line petition at and plans to hand in the signatures during the negotiation of the new programme for government.

"During the election campaign, our political leaders are full of promises for political reform, but the most basic reform - that our elected representatives should reflect the broad diversity of the people - is being ignored."

"It is too late to do anything about this gender inequality for this election as the candidates have already been chosen. However, unless we start to act now we will very soon find that it is too late for the next election too."

"Claiming our Future plans to mobilize public opinion to tell the leaders of the incoming Government that we want to see concrete action to address this inequality in our national parliament - and we want to see results before they come looking for our vote again."

"We recognise that each voter has the right to cast their vote as they wish - but can they really exercise that right when political parties nominate so few women. The new Dail is likely to have fewer women TDs than the current Dail, and we are already 23rd out of 27 EU countries for the representation of women in parliament."

According to the Standards in Public Office Commission, the political parties have received almost €55 million of public money in order to run their affairs since the last election. This is in addition to the salaries of TDs, their advisors and secretaries in the Dáil. One of the specified purposes for this substantial public funding is to 'promote women in politics'.

It is not acceptable that political parties should continue to receive our money while systematically failing to represent half of the population.