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General Election 2020 heralds monumental Change - but no Breakthrough on Numbers of Women elected

Published: Monday, February 10, 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today recognised the monumental change that General Election 2020 has heralded, breaking the two party system of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáíl. NWCI also described the General Election as a missed opportunity to break the critical barrier of 30% of women’s representation in Dáíl Éireann, calling on political parties to work harder to increase the number of women contesting elections.

  • So far no women have been elected in 10 constituencies: Meath West; Dublin West; Cork East; Cork North West; Cork North Central; Donegal; Limerick County; Tipperary; Limerick City; Dublin Bay South
  • No women elected in the Labour Party
  • So far 36 of the candidates elected signed NWCI’s #FemGen Manifesto for women’s equality before the election

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said:

‘‘This election signals a new era in Irish politics where the two party system of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael has been broken. A new Government will have a huge opportunity to champion women’s rights and equality. It is very worrying however that in 2020, we still have not broken the critical mark of 30% women’s representation in politics. While we are awaiting the final results, it is clear that the number of women elected is at a standstill in comparison to 2016.

Women only made up 31% of all of the candidates.  In rural areas, women made up just 22% of candidates as opposed to 44% in urban areas.  Addressing the deficit in rural areas requires concrete actions and measures.”

She continued:

‘‘Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael just scraped the requirement to run 30% women as candidates.  Parties need to develop candidate selection processes that look outside traditional networks like the GAA for example. The gender quota for candidate selection is set to rise to 40% in 2023 so all parties need to step up to the mark to achieve this.’’


For more information, please contact Laura Harmon or Silke Paasche, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104 or Tel. 016790100.