Longford Women’s Manifesto has launched a new drive to encourage Longford women to become more engaged in the local decision-making process. As part of the initiative, Longford Women’s Link has appointed Nóirín Clancy from Leitrim as the new Women’s Manifesto Development Officer. Nóirín is a leading community activist and feminist and has been working in the area of community development, equality and women’s human rights for over 20 years. She has previously worked with the National Women’s Council of Ireland, the Women’s Human Rights Alliance and the cross border project ‘Women into Public Life’ (WIPL) and her arrival in the Manifesto project comes at an exciting time in the group’s history.
“Women are often very active members of their own communities with an excellent understanding of their community’s needs and issues,” explained Tara Farrell, Deputy CEO of Longford Women’s Link.
“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.”
The Women’s Manifesto was set up to encourage women to familiarise themselves with the workings of local politics, which can be a first step toward deeper political involvement. The first ever Manifesto Group was established in Longford by Lonford Women’s Link because local women felt very removed from and uninformed about the local democratic decision-making process.
“A Manifesto Group pulls together the voices and perspectives of women from all areas of the community and brings them to the local decision-making arenas,” Tara explained.
This ground-breaking model has been copied a number of times around the country since and LWL is now recognised as a leading proponent of women’s participation in public life. Groups from all over Ireland have visited Longford Women’s Link to see how the Manifesto project works in a small county such as Longford.
Now the organisation is encouraging more people to become involved in this exciting project.
“We are asking people to give one hour a month to make their voices heard,” Tara explained.
“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.
If you are interested in finding out more, the next meeting takes place at LWL (Longford Women’s Link, Willow House, Ardnacassa Ave) on Wednesday May 29th at 2pm. Ph. Nóirín/Tara on 043 3341511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org