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Obama strategist gives tips to women candidates on communications s…rish & International Politics | The Irish Times - Thu, Apr 24, 2014

18/06/2014 11:56

Obama strategist gives tips to women candidates on communications skills Seminar hears some male candidates not targeting women voters at all Kitty Holland Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 01:01

Women running in next month’s local elections have had the opportunity to get advice from Jen O’Malley-Dillon, a senior strategist in President Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign. On a visit to Dublin yesterday, Ms O’Malley-Dillon spoke about the need to use social media, organise campaign teams, “go after the undecided voter” and communicate with them “as individuals”. There are 409 women nominated to run in the local elections and 1,283 men.Women make up 24 per cent of candidates, up from 17 per cent in the last local elections. This is a significant improvement, according to Women For Election, the organisation hosting yesterday’s event. Part of the Obama campaign’s winning formula, she added, was that it used disparate data banks on people, such as their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the things they had said to pollsters, to learn more about individual people’s concerns. “We were able to integrate campaign data to create a full profile of our voters,” she said. “By 2012 we were able to decide how to communicate with different individual people.” Rose Conway-Walsh, a Sinn Féin candidate in Mayo, said some women would be happy to be communicated with at all by some candidates. She had called to one house last week where the woman who answered the door told her a male candidate from another party had canvassed the evening before. “She told me this man, without saying hello, just asked her: ‘Is himself in?’ And then when he saw her husband working up the field, he turned and said: ‘Oh, it’s okay. I see him now’ and walked off without even engaging her in conversation.” Deirdre Donnelly, an independent local election candidate in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, described how “really shocked” she had been at the reaction of some friends and family when she told them she was running. “They asked, ‘What does your husband think?’ and ‘but what about your little boy? Who’ll look after him’?” Ms Donnelly, a married mother of a nine-year old, added: “I really don’t think a man would be asked those questions.” Saoire O’Brien, for Direct Democracy Ireland in Carlow, said she felt “pre-judged” by others in politics for being “too young”. She is 35 and believes young women candidates have to prove the substance of their views and opinions in a far more rigorous way than young male candidates. Technology

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http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/obama-strategist-gives-tips-to-women-candidates-on-communications-skills-1.1771721

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Obama will continue to be ‘a strong ally’ of Ireland – Jen O’Malley Dillon

18/06/2014 11:54

Saturday 26 Apr, 2014 http://jrnl.ie/1428324

Obama will continue to be ‘a strong ally’ of Ireland – Jen O’Malley Dillon President Obama’s former deputy campaign manager said politics was a difficult career regardless of your gender.

ONE OF PRESIDENT Obama’s key strategists has said she is “hopeful” that American immigration law will be reformed, helping the 50,000 undocumented Irish people in the US. Jen O’Malley Dillon, Obama’s former deputy campaign manager, made the comments during a trip to Dublin this week.

Jen O'Malley Dillon

Image: Women for Election “Clearly President Obama has shown a great affinity for Ireland … He will continue to be a strong ally of the country. Immigration reform is a very important issue in the US, [Obama] will continue to focus on that,” she said.

O’Malley Dillon, who is third generation Irish, visited Dublin and Belfast on a trip organised by the Washington Ireland Programme to mark the initiative’s 20th anniversary. She admitted that balancing work with twin baby daughters was challenging but manageable. I personally have a wonderful, supportive husband and network around me. It’s about give and take and making sure that you’re focused on what’s important to you.

During her visit she spoke at an event organised by Women for Election, a group that aims to increase the number of women in politics. Public Office

The 34-year-old strategist told TheJournal.ie that a career in public office is difficult “whether you’re a woman or a man”. Whether it’s in the US or in Ireland, there needs to be more organisations like Women for Election that provide mentoring and training for women.

O’Malley Dillon also served as the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee in the US. The Tufts University alumna was a regular attendee at the ‘Wednesday night strategy http://www.thejournal.ie/jen-omalley-dillon-ireland-1428324-Apr2014/

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Obama will continue to be ‘a strong ally’ of Ireland – Jen O’Malley Dillon

18/06/2014 11:54

meeting’ during Obama’s presidential election and re-election campaigns in 2008 and 2012. She said the weekly meetings were held at the house of senior strategist David Axelrod and provided the campaign team with an opportunity “to stay connected to voters, how people are feeling and how we’re communicating”. Related: US policy change could shield Irish immigrants from deportation (http://www.thejournal.ie/us-immigration-policy-change-irish-immigrants-1426882Apr2014/)

Read: There are 6 ways to make the Oireachtas more women friendly, says NWCI (http://www.thejournal.ie/women-friendly-oireachtas-nwci-report-1342929-Mar2014/)

About the author: Órla Ryan

@orlaryan orla@thejournal.ie

http://www.thejournal.ie/jen-omalley-dillon-ireland-1428324-Apr2014/

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Here’s how many women are running for election in each constituency

18/06/2014 12:12

Saturday 3 May, 2014 http://jrnl.ie/1443513

Here’s how many women are running for election in each constituency Left-wing parties have the most women candidates running for election.

IN FEBRUARY WHEN the election campaign was kicking off, we brought you the figures of how many women were were candidates in each party. Not all selections had been made at the time, but of those selected 22.2 per cent of Fine Gael candidates were women, 17.3 per cent for Fianna Fáil, 31.3 per cent for Labour and 30.1 per cent for Sinn Féin.

Female candidates across the country. Image: Women for Election

Has the political landscape changed in three months? As of Thursday afternoon, there are 424 women candidates running for election. It won’t close until the weekend, so there could be a few more candidates announcing over the weekend. The parties with the most women candidates are the left-wing parties, with People Before Profit leading the way with 40 per cent female representation, followed by the Green Party, the Anti Austerity Alliance and Sinn Féin. This chart highlights the level of women running in all of the constituencies:

Source: Women for Election The coalition parties, Labour and Fine Gael, stand at 30.2 per cent and 22.6 per cent, respectively.

http://www.thejournal.ie/women-for-election-local-elections-candidates-1443513-May2014/

Page 1 of 3


Here’s how many women are running for election in each constituency

18/06/2014 12:12

Fianna Fáil comes in last place with just 16.9 per cent of candidates running in the next election being women. Taking a closer look at the constituencies, Dublin and Meath with 33 per cent and 31 per cent female candidates respectively are on course to meet election quotas which will come into effect at the next General election. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown tops the poll of women candidates, making up 66 per cent of candidates in Blackrock and 52 per cent in Dundrum. However, there is still a shortfall in women candidates in rural areas, with no women candidates running in Muinebeag, Killaloe, Ballinasloe, Newcastle West, Athlone (Roscommon) and Baltinglass. Here is the breakdown of the urban/rural divide in Ireland:

Source: Women for Election This is how the country is looking in terms of female candidates running in May:

Source: Women for Election Michelle O’Donnell Keating, Co-founder of Women for Election said she was delighted to see that more women are running for political office than ever before. “This improvement is concentrated in Dublin and the commuter belt areas. These results show that the traditionally larger political parties will have an uphill struggle to meet the mandatory 30 per cent quota when it comes into force at the next General Election,” she said. Feedback from women they have worked with shows that overall there has been a positive http://www.thejournal.ie/women-for-election-local-elections-candidates-1443513-May2014/

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Here’s how many women are running for election in each constituency

18/06/2014 12:12

reception for women candidates on the doorsteps, said O’Donnell Keating. She said it was interesting that the newer parties such as People Befor Profit, which have cropped up over the last number of years, seem to be attractive to female candidates. O’Donnell Keating said their message of a “new type of politics” seems to appeal to women who feel there might be a place for them in these parties, while the older more established parties such as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, despite trying to disseminate the message that they want more women in the party, the messages seems to be getting lost. Read: Less than a quarter of candidates running in the local elections are women (http://www.thejournal.ie/women-local-elections-1288908-Feb2014/) > VIDEO: Labour candidate confronted in Dublin, “thuggery and intimidation” says Joan Burton (http://www.thejournal.ie/martin-genockey-video-1443460-May2014/) >

About the author: Christina Finn

@christinafinn8 christinafinn@thejournal.ie

http://www.thejournal.ie/women-for-election-local-elections-candidates-1443513-May2014/

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Talking point

GET OUT AND VOTE IT’S YOUR RIGHT! I

t’s hard to believe but less than one hundred years ago, 33 women peacefully picketing the White House were punched, kicked and dragged to the workhouse by 40 male prison guards. These women were innocent and defenceless but they were jailed simply for asking for the right to vote. Women in the UK and Ireland also took up the mantle demanding the right to vote, but it was the Great War which proved to be the social catalyst for changing opinions. In recognition of their role in the First World War, women in Ireland and the UK were first given the vote. Even then, they had to be over 30 years of age and land owners, a restriction that wasn’t lifted until ten years later in 1928. Portugal only granted the vote to women in 1976 and in Saudi Arabia women will not be able to vote until 2015. For most of us, our right to vote is not something we have ever thought much about. After all we have never known any different, our mothers could vote, as could our grandmothers. Admittedly, our political system is far from perfect but it is easy to forget the sacrifices the women who came before made in our name. This is why, as women in 21st century Ireland we should value our vote, especially since we have more control over our decision making than ever before. Research points towards a fall in voter participation over the last number of elections. The turnout at the 2009 local elections was 57.7 per

40

Have your say. Michelle O’Donnell Keating is co-founder of Women for Election, she explains that voting is imperative

This year sees a record 431 women running for the local elections... 22.5% of the candidates

cent and the 2013 Seanad referendum just 39.23 per cent, highlighting an ever growing portion of the electorate choosing to opt out of the decision making process. Though the political issues women and men face are the same, they are prioritised differently. For example, in a general election, men may give greater weight to income tax policies while women may hold health and education in higher regard. Voting is our opportunity to express our priorities, whatever they may be, and to influence the policy making process. Local elections are about deciding who will make decisions about local resources across our communities. In Ireland just 16 per cent of councillors are women and this is the highest it has ever been, but there is a stark urban/rural divide. While Dublin City Council has 33 per cent of its members’ female,

Clare County Council has one woman amongst 32 councillors. Decisions at this level could mean the introduction of pay and display parking, or the building of a new playground or even the closure of our local library. As a woman and as a constituent, the upcoming local and European elections allow us an opportunity to bring our own perspective to issues such as these. For example, high business rates and expensive parking charges may mean your town centre is not the vibrant hub it once was and you now have to drive further afield to shop or it has resulted in your business being adversely affected. Is social housing in your area needed and prioritised? Are pedestrian crossings, libraries and community parks properly and efficiently serving your community? Your views on the direction of an issue or the priorities of local government budgets will not be heard if you do not vote. It’s only by engaging and participating that you have the opportunity to change the things you do not like. It’s easy to be cynical and weary about both politicians and politics and to disengage. However, instead of assuming someone else will do it, Women for Election believe that we need to look at ways to make it easier to get involved with our communities and our public representatives. The first step is simple, vote! However we believe that more radical changes are needed and these include a more balanced representation in our

councils, a balance that will reflect the needs of our complete society, both men and women. Over the past two years Women for Election has been providing training and mentoring to women from across Ireland, on a non-partisan basis, to support them in their candidacy as they go forward for election. This year sees a record number of 431 women running for the local elections representing 22.5 per cent of candidates. And, in a similar fashion of the Suffragettes of the early 20th century who called out for the vote for women, Women for Election are also calling out for a vote for women, women whose values reflect your own, women who have worked hard in your constituency and women who will bring positive change to your community and consider a broader sense of priorities, priorities that meet the needs of the whole community. WW Michelle O’Donnell Keating is CoFounder of Women for Election. Women for Election is a non-partisan organisation whose vision is of an Ireland with balanced participation of women and men in political life. Our mission is to inspire and equip women to succeed in politics. Since 2012, they have trained 600 women in core political campaign skills. Over 150 of those women will contest the local and European elections this May. For further details of the programme see www.womenforelection.ie/events or to find out more about Women for Election see www.womenforelection. ie. Twitter @women4election Facebook/Women for Election

Woman’s Way, May 26, 2014

WW20 Election.indd 2

19/6/14 08:58:28


Number of women sitting on local councils jumps by 30 per cent

18/06/2014 14:49

Tuesday 27 May, 2014 http://jrnl.ie/1487569

Number of women sitting on local councils jumps by 30 per cent Fianna Fáil has the lowest proportion with just 14 per cent of their elected councillors being women.

THERE HAS BEEN a 30 per cent increase in the number of women elected to local authorities. Following last weekend’s election the results show that over out the 924 seats returned so far, 190 are filled by women. This is a jump of 148 seats since the last local election in 2009. The figures, compiled by the group Women for Election, show that female representation is now almost 21 per cent – up 16 per cent since 2009.

Local election count. Fianna Fail Mary Hanafin was elected as local councelor for Blackrock.

While counting continues in some parts of the country, the breakdown of elected female councillors based as an overall percentage of their total is as follows: Fianna Fáil (14%) Fine Gael (21%) Labour (35%) Sinn Fein (30%) People before Profit (43%) Women for Election said that of those women elected, 50 per cent were trained by their organisation. Niamh Gallagher, Co-Founder of the group said they were “really encouraged” by the increase in female participation. She said that the results show that when women on the ticket are given the right training and support they have just as good a chance as a man of getting elected. However, she was critical of the Fianna Fáil for running so few women in the election. Coming to the end of selections, only 17.3 per cent of candidate sections for Fianna Fáil were women. Gallagher said they believed the figures were negatively impacted by the strong support for Fianna Fáil “which in many instances didn’t give the electorate the opportunity to vote for a women,” she said. http://www.thejournal.ie/women-on-local-councils-rise-1487569-May2014/

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Number of women sitting on local councils jumps by 30 per cent

18/06/2014 14:49

“Put simply Fianna Fail ran the lowest percentage of female councillors and consequently returned the lowest proportion of women. The 30 per cent gender quota to be introduced at the next general election will force all political parties but particularly Fianna Fáil to look at gender balance when selecting candidates or risk losing 50 per cent of their state funding”. Read: Highest number of women TDs EVER if female candidates win two byelections (http://www.thejournal.ie/highest-number-of-women-tds-ever-if-femalecandidates-win-two-by-elections-1482335-May2014/) >

Read: Here’s how many women are running for election in each constituency (http://www.thejournal.ie/women-for-election-local-elections-candidates-1443513May2014/) >

About the author: Christina Finn

@christinafinn8 christinafinn@thejournal.ie

http://www.thejournal.ie/women-on-local-councils-rise-1487569-May2014/

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WfE-In the Papers, May 2014  

Press coverage for Local and European Elections 2014

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