The Women’s Manifesto Project, an innovative programme from Longford Women’s Link, is based on a model of positive engagement developed in Longford between Longford Women’s Manifesto Group and local decision-makers. The project aims to reconnect women with the democratic process in their own communities and counties. The model brings women together, develops their political understanding by supporting them to engage with both the processes and with local government, and then encourages them to act in order to bring women’s perspectives and voices to the decision-making table.
By taking on board the perspectives and voices of women, those making decisions are better informed and more inclusive decisions can be made resulting in better outcomes for women, their families and by extension the entire community. Women are often very active members of their own communities with an excellent understanding of their community’s needs and issues. Despite this and for many reasons, women are often not involved or engaged politically at a local level.
Women have a huge contribution to make at this level. This model has the benefit of allowing women to familiarise themselves with the workings of local politics, and can be a first step toward deeper political involvement. This is a unique project focused on women, their voices and perspectives, collective action and local level politics.