13 March 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Marking International Women’s Day – earlier this week – the Bantry branch of the Green Party has selected Liz Coakley Wakefield as their new Local Electoral Area Rep.
“I am honoured to be invited to represent my local area for the Green Party. In the week of International Women’s Day it’s really important to emphasise the need for female voices in politics. We are 50% of the population so we must be represented at every level of the political system where decisions are being made every day, often without equal female representation. We are lucky that in the Green Party, more than 50% of our Councillors are women but that isn’t representative of the country as a whole. In the Dáil and our local councils only a fifth of public representatives are women and this needs to change.”
“When it comes to climate action and a just transition, women are more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, with women and girls representing 80 per cent of the world’s displaced population through climate related disasters and changes according to the UN. It has never been more critical to have women at the decision making table and I’m proud to represent my local community.”
Liz has strong ties to the Bantry area and is actively involved in volunteering in the community. She stated;
“Bantry is such a vibrant area and I want everyone to feel just how special it is and that their views and wishes are important and being listened to. I live in Rathooragh on the beautiful Mizen Peninsula. My mother was born and raised in Guarranes North near Drimoleague so I have a strong connection to the area. About 30 years ago I bought some land in Drinagh where I have been planting and nurturing a forest garden.”
“In West Cork I volunteer at the Centre of Excellence for Climate Action & Sustainability (CECAS) at Myross House and RAWR, Rural Animal Welfare Resources Ltd charity shop in Bantry; both causes which are very close to my heart. Last year I helped with planting hundreds of native trees in the local area as part of the group Irish Native Trees. I’m a Director on Carberry Housing Association. I hope that I can positively impact the community in my new role as Local Area Rep for the Green Party, drawing on my work in the community to date.”
The Green Party has a constitutional mandate for gender balance in the selection of candidates for public office, with women making up half of its elected representatives at council level across the island of Ireland and women in many senior positions in the Party, including the General Secretary and the Cathaoirleach.