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Women and Diversity in Local Government

This is the official webpage of the Westmeath County Council project for increasing the participation of women and people of diversity in local government - 'A More Inclusive Politics for Westmeath'. Westmeath County Council recognises that more women and people from diverse backgrounds are needed to lend their voice to decision making in the County, where we can all live in a society that is more inclusive, diverse, and where balanced decision making takes place to promote the sustainable development of all of our communities. As a local authority service provider, Westmeath County Council seeks to provide access to all that we offer on an equal basis, and need the members of our community from all backgrounds to step up and to have their voice heard!

 The 2024 Local Elections are an excellent opportunity for new and upcoming candidates who represent the women and diverse members of our community to create the change needed for diversifying the political fabric of our County. Westmeath County Council will continue to offer informational material and guidance on where to avail of the necessary supports to run for election, and will regularly update this dedicated webpage with the latest developments.

Latest: Westmeath County Council has been successful with its 2023 proposals for funding. If you are interested in becoming a female representative, supports are available to increase the participation of women and diversity in the Westmeath Local Elections this year. Please contact returningofficer@westmeathcoco.ie for more information.

Previous Events:

On Saturday 27 May 2023, Westmeath County Council hosted a Wellness Workshop for elected and potential county councillors in Áras an Chontae, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. The focus of the Workshop was to equip serving and potential county councillors with the skills to be resilient and to deal with online harassment and negative feedback from the public through all mediums of communication, with a particular emphasis on the experience of female councillors. Expert presentations were delivered on being aware of the different types of abuse that politicians receive and tips on how to deal with this abuse, particularly in an online setting, along with how to build emotional resilience, emotional intelligence, and manage the psychological demands of political life.  

Westmeath County Council in collaboration with See Her Elected (SHE) also hosted a seminar in January 2023 with key speakers and participants from diverse communities and women who are interested in getting involved in local government. The seminar was a resounding success, with media coverage on the day, and has helped to encourage a greater number of women from diverse backgrounds to run for or get involved in the 2024 Local Elections.

Please also see our informational video and booklet detailing the experiences of our current female councillors, how to get involved in decision making, how to familiarise yourself with voting in the local elections, and more!

Video: A More Inclusive Politics for Westmeath


 Booklet: A More Inclusive Politics for Westmeath - Booklet

Booklet Cover Image 

Westmeath County Council have been successful in their proposals for funding from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for facilitating this project, and will continue to engage with the Department to apply for further funding that can be used to support the participation of women and people from diverse backgrounds in local government structures and decision making in Westmeath. This is in line with our shared goal with the Department and supports the Programme for Government – ‘Our Shared Future'.

For supports and guidance on how you could run for election in the next 2024 local elections, please visit the See Her Elected (SHE) website, whose expertise will equip you with the relevant skills and know-how for your journey in local politics.

 SHE Guidebook