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23% of councillors elected into local government were women

23% of councillors elected into local government were women
The Social Democrats' Catherine Stocker was elected to Dublin City Council in last month's local elections.

23% of councillors recently elected into local government were women.

According to the National Women's Council of Ireland, that is a slight increase from 21% in the last elections, but is well short of the 30% mark they were hoping for.

Director of the group Orla O'Connor says it is disappointing given that half of the election candidates in many parties were women.

Ms O'Connor says it's vital that the gender gap is addressed.

"It's important for women's equality, because women represent over 50% of the population, but also this is really important for focusing on women's issues at local level," she said.

"Things like refuge spaces, building proper housing in terms of sustainable communities that we know women and families need.

"It's also about supporting women, for example, who are trying to access abortion services so that they can do it without fear and intimidation

She says Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, in particular, have a lot to answer for when it comes to gender equality in local government.

"For many parties, it was the first time where they fielded 50% of candidates, so particularly for the smaller parties, for the parties on the left, they absolutely reached the quota," she said.

"But the two largest parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, did not and that's where we think a lot of work needs to be done."

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