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Women’s Manifesto

Screenshot 2019-05-08 at 15.44.02Where do our Election Candidates stand on women’s rights?

Women’s Lived Experience must be heard & acknowledged by the Local Election and European Parliament candidates running in the up coming elections on 24th May.

NCCWN-Donegal Women’s Network is 1 of 17 National Collective of Community Based Women’s Networks projects in Ireland checkout our ‘Women’s Manifesto’ key issues identified as impacting women’s lives, it can be downloaded here ‘NCCWN Manifesto May 2019′. 

Why not ask your local election candidates where they stand on these issues.

Equal Representation is a Basic Social Justice

balance for better

In 2019 of the 37 County Councillors in Donegal only 3 are women, that’s a 8.1% representation, the highest it’s ever been. At the national political level two women since 1918 have ever represented Donegal in Dáil Éireann. We need change.

This year’s International Women’s Day Theme is ‘Balance for Better’, it is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. While also asking people how will you help make a difference?

In honour of this day NCCWN Donegal Women’s Network in association with 50:50 North West invite you to come Celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 with us on Thursday 7th March in Donegal central library, Letterkenny 10am-1pm.

We’ll be discussing equal representation, chatting to female County Councillors and to women who will be running in the upcoming May Local Elections. We’ll also be joined by Historian Dr Angela Byrne who will be talking about the first woman in Donegal to be Elected as a councillor.

This will be an interactive and informative event, refreshments will be provided and all are welcome.

For more information you can contact NCCWN Donegal Women’s Network on donegalwomensnetwork@gmail.com or by phone on 074 9722790

BE INFORMED…About your 2014 Local Election Candidates

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Where does your Donegal Local Election Candidate stand on issues relating to Childcare, Cuts to Carers, Domestic Abuse + Violence Against Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Travellers, Women’s Political Representation and Equality within our society?

Early 2014, The National Women’s Collective- Donegal Women’s Network held a number of meetings to hear and collect what are the main issues locally and nationally for women in Donegal. Some of the issues discussed and debated were the lack of women’s representation, lack of local training and employment issues, cuts to home helps and services for the older person and people with disabilities, domestic abuse, lack of transport and accessible affordable community child-care. These meetings were supported by Longford Women’s Manifesto Project.

Following on from these meetings a questionnaire was designed  by The National Women’s Collective- Donegal Women’s Network  and an “Open Invitation” was sent out to the 83 candidates running in the local elections to respond to questions identified  as areas of concern by voters in Donegal.

To-date the responses we have received have been insightful and we are delighted that all of the candidates who responded stated that they would work towards upholding and promoting the ethos of social inclusion, equality and human rights. All agreed that gender equality is a fundamental principle underpinning the concept of social justice, and human and civil rights in Ireland.  All  candidates pledged to sign up to the MAN UP campaign and to undertake a half day workshop on domestic violence in 2014 that would be delivered by Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service.

To read your 2014 Local Election Candidates full responses to our questions please click on the candidates picture and you will be taken to their individual response. This we believe will give the electorate an insight into each candidate as well as giving the candidates an open forum which could be helpful in securing votes.


Donegal Electoral Area

   Joseph McN Bernie Mulhern


Glenties Electoral Area

joe mc carron Marie Therese Gallagher


Inishowen Electoral Area

eilis haden Mary McCauley Albert Doherty CiaranMcLaughlin 


Letterkenny Electoral Area 

 sio John Watson gb Jimmy Kavanagh gerry mcm Mick Quinn


Stranorlar Electoral Area

charile Gary Doherty Alan McMenamin  Claudia Kennedy


Still waiting to hear from (as of 15/5/14)

DONEGAL ELECTORAL AREA GLENTIES ELECTORAL AREA INISHOWEN ELECTORAL AREA LETTERKENNY ELECTORAL AREA STRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREA
John Boyle Padraig Doherty Paul Canning Liam Blaney Gerry Crawford
Brendan Byrne Seamus O Domhnaill Rena Donaghey Ciaran Brogan Patrick McGowan
Sean Mc Eniff Hughie McBride Martin McDermott Michael Mc Bride Martin Harley
Michael Naughton Ian Molloy Mickey Doherty Noel Mc Bride Bert Galbraith
Barry O’Neill Enda Bonner John Ryan Ian Mc Garvey Seamus Kee
John Mc Nulty Terence Slowey Bernard McGuinness James Pat Mc Daid Brian McCrea
Patricia McCafferty John Curran Peter McLaughlin John O Donnell Liam Doherty
Laurence McManus Micheal Cholm Mac GiollaEasbuig Martin Farren Tom Crossan Tim Meehan
Jonathan Kennedy Michael Mc Clafferty Joe Murphy Peter Cutliffe
Michael McMahon Brendan Carr Nicholas Crossan Donal Cullen
Noel Jordan Seamus Rodgers Patrick McCarroll David Fisher
John Sheamáis O Fearraigh Ryan Stewart  Charlie McLafferty
Paul Ferguson Paschal Blake
Billy Banda
Dessie Shiels

The BE INFORMED…About your 2014 Local Election Candidates Initiative has been brought to you by the Donegal team at The National Women’s Collective Donegal Women’s Network.

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What Do You Know About Your 2014 Local Election Candidates?

It’s time to be informed

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In the run up to the 2014 Donegal Local Elections, NCCWN- Donegal Women’s Network has sent out an ‘Open Invitation’ to all 2014 local election candidates to respond to questions that have been identified as areas of concern by voters in Donegal.

All candidates running have been invited to respond and to pledge to undertake specific actions if they are successful and elected onto Donegal County Council. All responses or non-responses, will be published on the Donegal Democrat’s specifically designed web- page  ‘BE INFORMED…..  about your 2014 Local Candidates.’ This we believe will give the electorate an insight into each candidate as well as giving the candidates an open forum which could be helpful in securing votes.

The questions cover a number of topics covering; childcare, cuts to carers, Domestic Abuse + Violence Against Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Travellers, Women’s Political Representation and Equality within our society. In the next couple of weeks our readers will receive an overview of the candidate’s responses as well as the link to the Donegal Democrat’s web page and that of NCCWN- Donegal Women’s Networks.

With 83 confirmed candidates in Donegal and sadly, only 11 female nominations in the county which include: Rena Donaghey FF, Mary Mc Cauley FF Claudia Kennedy, FF, Grace Boyle, FG, Siobhan Mc Laughlin, Labour, Maire Therese O Gallachoir, SF, Naimh Kennedy, Ind, Berne Mulhern, Ind, Patricia Mc Cafferty, Ind, Charlie Mc Dyer, People Before Profit and Eilish Haden, Direct Democracy Ireland.

This lack of female representation is been acknowledged by many men and women on the doorsteps in Donegal, with more women in the county council been seen as advantageous to a more effective running council.  One voter said, “Women are very practical and work more from a collective perspective as opposed to taking ‘territorial and confrontational’ stances.”

Taking a broad sweep of female representation across the North West the following clearly indicates little has changed to encourage and support the participation of female candidates despite the fact that the female membership of our two largest parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael is between 35% and 40%.

In Donegal Fine Gael have one woman running and 13 men; in Sligo – 10 men and one woman; in Leitrim – two women and 9 men. And, this is the party that introduced gender quotas!

Fianna Fail is no better.  In Donegal: 15 men and three women; In Sligo: one woman and eight men; in Leirim the situation is a little better with 9 men and 3 women.  Yet, Michael Martin, in Fianna Fail’s Gender Equality Action Plan, committed to ‘renew Irish politics and make it more representative’.  In the Irish Times (2/4/14) Senator Averil Power bravely criticised her own party’s failure to take serious action to address its low female representation.

Nationally there has been an increase of female participation for this local election with an increase of 6 % (from 17 % to 23 %.) All parties except FF have showed an increase,

FG – up by 5 %. Labour – up by 7 %. SF up by 9 % with the highest selection of female candidates within Anti Austerity Alliance at 33.3% and People Before Profit at 40%.

Under new legislation, the ‘Electoral (Amendment )Political Funding Bill 2011’, which comes into effect for the next general election,  political parties will be obliged to implement an electoral ‘gender’ quota or suffer severe financial penalties. Each party will have to have at least 30 % women on the ballot paper. Fine Gael for example last year under Electoral Acts received 2.8 million euro and therefore stands to lose up to 1.4 million euro. I wonder will the threat of financial penalty help to focus the minds of the men in power?

Watch this space!