The 5050 Group, a national advocacy group campaigning for equal representation in Irish politics, has criticised Fianna Fáil’s recent selection of two male candidates for the newly expanded Sligo/Leitrim constituency.
In a statement issued to the Leitrim Observer this week, The 5050 Group said that “achieving a gender balance on the ballot paper and giving voters a choice does not appear to be top of the Party’s agenda” following the selection of Marc MacSharry and Eamonn Scanlon on Friday last.
“Yet Fianna Fáil are under pressure to run more female candidates, otherwise they will lose half their state funding. This is the implication if the Party doesn’t comply with gender quota legislation which means 30% of their candidates nationally must be women,” noted the 5050 Group.
Nóirín Clancy, 5050 Chairperson said: “Fianna Fáil produced a Gender Equality Action Plan; the Markeivicz Commission report was launched in January which outlined plans to support women who may be successful in seeking the nomination for the general election. So why aren’t we seeing any changes?”.
16 candidates have already been selected by Fianna Fáil to contest the next general election, but only one nominee so far is female.
“We are concerned that achieving the gender quota will be left up to urban constituencies.”