Women in local government: Moving in from the margins
De Gruyter Open
This article presents a descriptive overview of women’s participation in the elected and administrative structures of local government in the Republic of Ireland. Drawing on analysis of candidate data and electoral results from the 2014 local elections, it shows that women’s political representation currently stands at just under 21 per cent, a record high for women’s participation in the elected structures of county and city councils. The article evaluates the lessons learned about political parties, gender and candidate recruitment at the 2014 local elections. It argues that the impending introduction of legislative gender quotas at the next general election was the main driving force behind women’s increased participation in these elections. Turning attention to the administrative structures of local authorities, it is revealed that men continue to dominate senior management positions. While increasing numbers of women are accessing senior management roles, gendered barriers remain. The article concludes by reflecting on the future prospects for women’s participation in both the elected and administrative structures of local government in the Republic of Ireland. It recommends an extension of legal gender quotas to local elections and a more proactive gender promotional and mentoring campaign within local government administrative structures.
Women and local government , Gender quotas , 2014 local elections , Candidate selection , Women in management
Buckley, F. and Hofman, C. (2015) ‘Women in local government: Moving in from the margins’, Administration, 63(2), pp. 79-99. doi: 10.1515/admin-2015-0011