About Longford Women’s Manifesto Group
Longford Women’s Manifesto Group (LWMG) is a flagship project of Longford Women’s Link. The LWMG is based on a model of positive engagement between women and local decision-makers. While women are actively involved their own communities, for many reasons, they are often not involved or engaged politically at a local level. The focus of the model, therefore, is developing women’s political understanding by supporting them to engage with local government processes in order to bring women’s perspectives and voices to the decision-making table.
Activities of LWMG include members observing Council meetings and being represented on Council committees where they engage directly with Councillors and influence policy decisions. Support is also provided to encourage more women to enter politics and workshops were organised for both the 2014 Local Elections and the 2016 General Election to candidates from Longford and neighbouring counties. to women running as candidates.
The model is replicated nationwide through financial support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. A number of Manifesto groups carry out similar activities and networking sessions are held regularly. Research has been carried out which entailed the collective observations of Manifesto groups from attendance at Council meetings. Recommendations were a key part of the report which outlined how local authorities can adopt better practices, be more inclusive and women/family friendly.
Representatives of Manifesto groups from Donegal, Cavan, Westmeath, Dublin, Longford, Roscommon and Leitrim attending a Networking Day.
MAKING OUR COUNCILS MORE OPEN, ACCESSIBLE AND REPRESENTATIVE –
Experiences and observations of attending council meetings