Report in 2009 recommended Five C’s to be tracked to see how friendly politics had become for women — Childcare, Cash, Confidence, Culture, and Candidate Selection, but found just one scored an A rating
There is a “crucial lack of implementation” of measures aimed at making Ireland’s political system gender -qual, a new report has found.
The Women For Election group released three pieces of research into the issue on Friday, with one tracking implementation of the 2009 Women’s Participation in Politics Report, also known as the Bacik Report.
That report recommended Five C’s to be tracked to see how friendly politics had become for women — Childcare, Cash, Confidence, Culture, and Candidate Selection.
However, the 2023 scorecard for the five headings awards an A to just one — candidate selection. This is down to the legislative footing given to gender quotas for political parties.
The scorecard awards a B to the heading of Confidence, which it describes as making women feel empowered to put themselves forward. Political parties have generally recruited women well since the report was published and seven have used State funding for training.
However, the scorecard says “given the scale of the work that needs to be done with respect to providing training and other supports to women, the level of existing funding needs to be substantially increased and regularised”.
The report gives a C to issue of childcare, saying the covid pandemic “demonstrated the possibilities of technology like videoconferencing which has the potential to enable women to participate more fully in political life”.
However, the scorecard gives Ds, the lowest score possible, to the issues of Cash and Culture. On funding, the authors say that in 2016 female challengers spent less on their campaigns compared with male challengers, “which indicates that they were less able to fundraise”.
On culture, it criticises the fact that no new programme of civic education has been implemented nationally to encourage women to run for office, deficits in parental leave and a lack of advertising challenging stereotypes.
The report’s authors, Dr Lisa Keenan and Dr Fiona Buckley, said much needed to be done to get to a 50/50 gender split.
“This scorecard shows there is still much work that remains to be accomplished. Gender parity in political representation is still far-off.”
Source: Irish Examiner