herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Male politicians have big egos and bicker too much, says election hopeful Adrienne Wallace (25)

Adrienne Wallace - People Before Profit Carlow
Adrienne Wallace - People Before Profit Carlow

One of Ireland’s youngest general election candidates has claimed that male opponents are “egocentric” while female political rivals are more civil to each other.

Adrienne Wallace (25), who will attend a national workshop designed to boost female candidates’ campaigning skills, has  hit out at the approach of male candidates to political debates.

The workshop aims to help correct the gender imbalance in the Dail. It will take  place in Athlone next weekend.

Ms Wallace won more than 2,500 first-preference votes in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election for People Before Profit this year.

“Women political rivals speak more to each other in debates while male politicians are more egocentric and tend to bicker more,” she said.

She believes politics in Ireland is suffering from “a lack of female input”.

“Politics is everything, including the water in your tap and the money in your pocket. More women’s voices need to be heard,” said Ms Wallace, who is a bar worker in Carlow. “I want to learn more strategies for identifying voters’ needs.”

Among the guest speakers will be Tanaiste Joan Burton, former Tanaiste Mary Harney, and former government ministers Mary O’Rourke and Gemma Hussey.

With a new law requiring 30pc of major party Dail candidates to be female, scholarships for the workshop are on offer to aspiring female candidates aged in their 20s and upwards.

Mentor

The Women for Election organisation is running the non-partisan three-day residential campaign school to train, support and mentor women.

Another participant, seasoned Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Labour councillor Carrie Smyth (43), will make her first attempt to win a Dail seat.

 “I want to learn more about appearing on television and working with the media at national level,” she said.

Equip is Ireland’s first and only non-partisan campaign school, which first ran courses in 2013.

Any women interested can contact equip@womenforelection.ie or 01-6728050

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