88 years ago all Irish women won the right to vote.

What does a vote mean to you?

Women make up 50 % of the population…

In our last election an equal number of men and women voted…
And yet…
We currently have 22 women TDs in 166 seats, 13 women in the senate out of 60…
How might things have been different if we’d had a female Minister for Finance during the past decade? A female Taoiseach (Prime Minister)? How might things be different?

The time has come for positive change, a re-balancing of power. Now is our opportunity.

This is not a battle of the sexes. Nor a call to arms. The time is ripe to build a new political culture. A sustainable economy. A culture based on community, not business values.

Ireland has a strong modern history of voting in powerful, considered, intelligent, respectful Presidents: we have had 20 solid years of a female premiere. In the last Presidential election 4 of the 5 candidates were female. We recognise the skills which they offer, we allow them to represent us with grace, diplomacy and intelligence on the international stage. So why not in national politics? Now is the time, our opportunity to say, enough of the “boyos”. Let us beckon in a new political culture, one which nurtures, rather than destroys our culture.

Of course women alone do not hold the answer. But nor do men. And yet for centuries men have been in sole charge of nation building. During the twentieth century, women began to enter politics. Now it is time for women to raise their voices, not a little but to their full force, to full equality. To speak up for the values they want to see their public representatives embody. To give voice to what have normally been considered “female” values, which many men hold too: nurturing, respect, supporting, prioritising health, family and caring.

This is not a time for finger pointing, BUT, count the number of female bankers, lawyers, property developers, TDs who profited from the shady shenanigans of the past decade. They are very few and far between. We may not be responsible for the mess, but we have many skills to help clear it up and help to transform not only policies but the way politics are done.

What we need is to use our democratic power to the full. Now could be a time of deep unrest. One trade union has already threatened civil unrest. We saw the men crashing through the Gardai outside Leinster House yesterday. The last thing we need now is chest beating and violence. What we need is co-operation, collaboration, inspiration, making peace, building communities, not war mongering and  ego boosting. What we need is a Great Conversation. One which includes us all.
No more party politics. No more braying in the House of Representatives. No more back-handers. We need the committed work of all elected to turn our country, not only around, but inside out. Into a functioning, caring, democratic society, one which celebrates, supports and builds on, rather than exploits or destroys, the wonder of its people; our beautiful, bounteous island home; our stunning, diverse natural habitat; our fertile fields; our creative culture; our long and deep spiritual heritage; our strong families and communities; our young and booming population.
Votes for Women will encourage women to vote.
It will campaign for a positive election.
It will encourage people to vote for women candidates.
It will bring the above issues to regular attention through press releases to the nation media.

All in favour say “aye”.

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