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No breakthrough for women in Local Elections 2024

Published: Monday, June 10, 2024

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today (10th June 2024) welcomed the women elected as Councillors in the Local Elections but is very disappointed about the missed opportunity to break the critical barrier of 40% for women’s representation in Local Government. NWC called on all political parties to commit to the introduction of a 40% gender quota for local election candidates in their party manifestos.

Rachel Coyle, Head of Campaigns and Mobilisation, NWC said,

“We saw more women running in the local elections than ever before and I congratulate all of the successful women candidates. It is very positive to see women from diverse backgrounds being elected. They will be a critical voice in Local Government.

However, it is very disappointing that in 2024, we still have not broken the critical mark of at least 40 % women’s representation at local level. With the vast majority of results now available, it is clear that women will only make up around 26 % of Councillors which is the same percentage as the percentage of outgoing women Councillors.”

She said,  

“While a record number of 677 women contested the elections, up from 566 in 2019, they only made up 31% of all of the candidates. And while it was positive to see at least 50 migrant women contesting the election, it is disappointing that there was no Traveller woman candidate and no woman on the ballot in two constituencies, in Moate and An Daingean.”

She continued,

“The Local Elections are a critical pipeline for elections at national level.  We know that when women are on the ticket, people vote for women. It is very clear that the incentive approach from the Government is not working, as large parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, failed to run at least 40% women as candidates. Neither managed to even reach 30% which is incredibly disappointing. As was the case with the general elections, a gender quota for Local Elections is a necessity if we are serious about achieving gender equality in political life for women.”

In addition to the 40% gender quota for local elections, NWC is calling for decisive action towards a more women and family friendly local government.

This includes investment in local public services, including childcare and public transport, the establishment of local women’s caucuses, greater work life balance policies for Councillors, and the promotion of feminist community development.


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, Tel. 085 858 9104, silkep@nwci.ie