Tuesday 23 December 2014

FF candidate accuses party of 'failing women'

CRITICISM: Catherine Ardagh says FF has 'macho mindset'

Mark O’Regan and Majella O’Sullivan

Published 11/04/2014 | 07:46

Catherine Ardagh
Catherine Ardagh

A FIANNA Fail local election candidate has accused the party of “failing women”, with only one in six of the party hopefuls female.

And she said the problem is a “real macho culture” within FF.

Only 17pc of the party's local election candidates are female, far short of the target of 33pc.

Catherine Ardagh, FF's candidate for Crumlin/Kimmage, branded the party's performance a “disgrace”, adding that the problem stems from a “macho mindset”.

“There's no dressing up the figures. They're the worst of all the main parties. We're coming from a macho, rural mindset and that's from where it's being led,” she said.

“Most of the women candidates running are in Dublin, or urban-based, and in that respect we're getting it right. Dublin Fianna Fail is completely different to rural Fianna Fail.

ENCOURAGE

“But by not having any female representation in the Dail, in that sense we're not doing well in the city.

“The party needs to take real, positive steps to encourage female candidates to run in elections. It's simply not good enough as it stands and is a poor reflection on the party's performance in this regard.”

FF leader Micheal Martin defended the low numbers of female candidates, saying: “We've dealt with this before. In some counties they've reduced the number of councillors which has inhibited our opportunities to get more women in.

“We want more women in and obviously we've made a lot of progress in Dublin where in the city 30pc of our candidates are women.

“Obviously, we would like more and we're striving to get that and we will in time.”

The number of candidates running for the party nationwide stands at 413, of whom only 69 are female.

hnews@herald.ie

Irish Independent

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