Only 32% of Northern Ireland’s 800 local election candidates in 11 council districts are women.
This is higher over the last municipal elections, when 28% of candidates were women, but it’s still far from ideal.
Northern Ireland has 51% women. We deserve 50% of our elected representatives.
Men outnumber women, preventing a fair election.
Ballymena, Downshire East, and Knockagh are among the council areas without a single female candidate.
Women in politics help Northern Ireland significantly. For 25 years, women have rebuilt communities and supported peace-building in almost all post-conflict cultures.
Women build many communities. They collaborate better cross-party and are more likely to reach consensus than males. So women make good local legislators.
Council borough services and provisions affect women the most.
Women, the region’s primary caregivers, are more likely to use our councillors’ parks and recreational facilities. Women utilize these facilities the most—shouldn’t they be represented at the table where lawmakers decide how they’re maintained, funded, and managed?
Local councils also handle environmental problems. Women in politics prioritize and vote for environmental and climate policy, according to research.
This is another reason why we need more women in local administration, so why are only a third of our candidates women if they’re so qualified?
Women entering politics face several obstacles. From councils to the Commons, they exist.
Mothers who wish to get active face a shortage of maternity leave and childcare, as well as a confusing political procedure.
Women also tend to have low self-esteem and “imposter syndrome.”
Online and offline harassment and abuse is a major obstacle for most women in public life.
Many women running have been harassed online, in person, and had their campaign materials damaged and destroyed.
While this sort of behavior persists and politics remains an unfair profession for women, the number of women running for office will stay considerably below 50%.
This is unfair for Northern Ireland and women candidates. We lose numerous benefits without women in politics.
Better services, environmentally-conscious councillors, and active, enthusiastic peace-builders who care about their citizens.
50:50 NI founder and Queen’s University Belfast PhD scholar Aoife Clements urges women to get active in politics.