#MoreWomen hashtag dominates Twitter as local election results continue
The local election counts are almost finished.
And with them have come a significant increase in the number of female candidates set to take seats on county councils.
The past few years has seen a push for more women in Irish politics with the introduction of gender quotas, gender specific campaign training, and an encouragement for more women to run for election.
The conversation has been encouraged by the Women for Election group, who have been promoting the need for more women in local and national government since 2012.
Over the past few years, they have trained over 1,000 women to run for election in Ireland and EU member states. They believe that Ireland can achieve 50 percent female representative in politics over the coming years.
With the counts for last week's local election almost complete, it's clear that a considerably higher number of women are going to be taking councillor seats this year.
Among them is Hazel Chu who received one of the highest number of first preferences for a first time candidate for local elections in Irish history.
It's been confirmed by the lovely @electionlit that at 32.3% I could well have the highest 1st pref vote for a 1st time candidate in Irish history for council election.
Apparently Leo was 38% but in his 2nd election and Simon was 32.1%. Curious...#LE19 #EP2019@greenparty_ie
— Hazel Chu (@hazechu) May 26, 2019
— Ciairín de Buis (@Ciairin) May 26, 2019
34wks ago I had a pregnancy test in one hand & a calendar in the other thinking I could not run in this election.
For any woman looking to LE24 but thinking you can't - you can, you should, & you will. #MoreWomen
Honoured to serve Clontarf LEA & grateful to all who supported me pic.twitter.com/pFPc5NOvAv
— Jane Horgan-Jones (@horganjonesjane) May 26, 2019
Just over half of the @SocDems candidates were women and based on the results so far it looks like just over half of our councillors are going to be women.
Turns out, if political parties select and support women candidates, they get elected. Who knew! 🧐
— Peter Tanham (@PeterTanham) May 27, 2019
It's been a big year and a long day. At the end of it all I am delighted to be elected as the first green councillor in #Athlone #LE19 #wantedgreenvotedgreen #westmeath #MoreWomen #GreenWave pic.twitter.com/42Ge2tGLnD
— Louise Heavin (@louheavin) May 26, 2019
— Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD (@CarrollJennifer) May 25, 2019
The @greenparty_ie team on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown will similarly have a 50:50 gender balance - well done to Daniel, Deirdre, Eva, Seafra, Ossian and Una! #LE2019 #MoreWomen https://t.co/vsqdZIGvW3 pic.twitter.com/deO0JVP5mM
— John Doody (@johnmdoody) May 27, 2019
Despite this, things could always be moving faster in Ireland when it comes to women in politics.
Out of the close to 2,000 candidates who put themselves forward to contest local seats this year, 560 were women.
This works out at just over one quarter, which may not seem like a whole lot, but it's still a considerable increase in candidates compared to the past few years.
Similarly, more and more parties have successfully reached their gender balance quotas in recent years, with some smaller parties including more women than men.
However, the LE results show that many county councils across the country are still going to be operating with considerably more men than women.
The Kilkenny People reports that as of yesterday evening, just three of their 24 seats have been filled by women.
Just 22 percent of the current Dáil is made up of women.