Empowerment campaign encourages female participation in politics

Pictured: Caoimhe Ní Mhaolgain. Credit: Laura Horan

DCU’s Students’ Union ran its first Empowerment Week in conjunction with the nominations for the SU Elections, opening on Tuesday.

The Empowerment Campaign featured a series of talks and open discussions with the SU, aimed at encouraging people around campus to get involved in student politics, as well as promoting women in politics.

The week was organised primarily by Eimear Maguire, VP for Engagement and Development, who is collecting nominations to run for SU President in the upcoming election.

The Sabbatical team held two open hours on both the St Pat’s and Glasnevin campuses during the week for students seeking information on running for their respective positions in the upcoming elections.

“It’s about the people who have ideas but not the confidence and the know how to get things done.” said James O’Nuallain, a DCU student ambassador, speaking at a motion writing workshop held during the week.

Among the week’s events was a talk with USI’s Equality and Citizenship officer, Síona Ní Chátháil, on the subject of women in leadership and how to run a successful campaign. Ní Chátháil  is heading the USI’s Women Lead project this year.

Speaking of the gender disparity evident in politics, Ní Chátháil said, “Women are not running for election, the data is there to prove it so it’s about how we can target that.” 

“Even in the Elections last year I was the only one in the five running for my position that was female,” said Maguire, the only woman on the SU’s full-time Sabbatical team.

The talk was an informal event held in the Mezz and, despite the being about women in politics, it’s attendance counted twice as many men as women.

Aoife Horan

Image Credit: Laura Horan