LW welcomes passing of Political Funding Bill in Dail and Seanad
20 July 2012
Labour Women welcomes the final stages of the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2011 which passed in the Dáil yesterday and returns to the Seanad today. The bill contains measures to increase the participation of women in politics by imposing financial penalties on parties that do not run a minimum 30% female candidates in general elections, increasing to 40% over time.
'Labour Women has been campaigning for legislation of this type since 2003', says Katherine Dunne, Labour Women Chair. 'The evidence showed that 'softer' measures to increase women's participation were unlikely to work on their own without some kind of legislative incentive.
'In 2009 Ciarán Lynch TD introduced a private members bill containing these measures in the Dáil. The issue started getting debated more in the media and civil society groups were set up to lobby for better representation of women in politics. Since that time the case for legislation has come to be accepted by all the main political parties.
'With the passing of the government bill, the onus is now on the parties to facilitate more women to run for office. Whilst the legislation only applies to Dáil elections the upcoming local elections in 2014 will prove crucial in terms of increasing women's representation in local government and providing a pool of potential Dáil candidates.'