See Her Elected, the award-winning Government funded project which aims to encourage women from rural areas to engage in local politics will be featured on RTE’s CountryWide show in the coming weeks. Recording for the upcoming radio feature took place in Athlone this week when See Her Elected’s Programme Manager Michelle Maher and Communications Manager Mairead O’ Shea were joined by Cllr Emer Kelly from Roscommon and Cllr Peggy Ryan from Tipperary along with Lorraine Lally from Galway and Breege Loftus from County Offaly.
See Her Elected runs free online training and workshops for women all over rural Ireland as part of their SHESchool model which aims to encourage more women to engage in local politics.
“We are delighted that RTE’S CountryWide has decided to feature a piece on the work of See Her Elected and our aims to see more women in Local Government. We want to see more diversity in our rural county council chambers. As it stands, there are very few women councillors and virtually no representation of minority communities. Our aim is to increase the numbers of women in local politics in rural counties where anything from 78% to 95% of the elected local authority councillors are men. We need our chambers to be more reflective of society and we need to see more women in politics in order to have more balanced decision making,” said Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager with See Her Elected.
Communications Manager with See Her Elected Mairead O’ Shea noted that SHE provided a range of supports and resources for women in politics. “Our entry point is the Introduction to Politics course which aims to demystify politics and understand the role of a councillor and active citizenship while our Foundation and Strategy series of follow-on workshops will also be getting underway this Autumn and that provides more in-depth training on canvassing and communications strategy. Our workshops are not just aimed at potential candidates or sitting councillors but are also for any woman who wants to learn more about politics as some women may not want to be a candidate but may want to help support another woman to get elected and there are so many roles to play,” explained Mairead.
In recent months See Her Elected published ‘A Guide to Running in the 2024 Local Elections’ which is a user-friendly guide to running for election. The organisation was also crowned winners in the Democracy category of the Innovation in Politics Award by the EU in Brussels last December which was a first for Ireland.
A full range of upcoming courses is available on https://www.seeherelected.ie/events/
See Her Elected is a joint initiative between Longford Women’s Link and 50/50 North West. The project is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.