learn > news

Latest News

New Cabinet, same old gender imbalance

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Speaking following the announcement of the Ministers of State, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) expressed its disappointment in the numbers of women appointed as Ministers and Ministers of State.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,
“With women appointed to just four senior Cabinet positions, this number remains the same as the number appointed the previous Cabinet, and means at 27% of cabinet seats, we have yet to breach the critical mass of 30%. Furthermore, the number of women appointed to Minister of State positions remains at three out of 18, so we have not witnessed any movement at all in terms of the number of women in senior decision making positions in our Government."

Orla O’Connor continued,
“The numbers are stark. There are 33 Ministers and Ministers of State, just seven of whom are women. It is disappointing that in this 32nd Dail which houses the highest number of women TDs ever elected, that we are not seeing similar increases in the numbers of women in senior decision making positions. Only 18 women have been appointed to Cabinet since Countess Markievicz became Minister for Labour in 1919. This is one woman less than the current number of Ministers for State.”

Orla O’Connor continued,
“While we are disappointed with the numbers of women in Cabinet, it is crucial that we now see the whole of Cabinet prioritising policies of women’s equality. Significant investment in childcare is required in Budget 2018, to have a real impact on childcare costs for families. There are significant and immediate challenges to ending men’s violence against women that require both urgent investment and political leadership. Furthermore, the past number of days have again illustrated how the issue of abortion is one which must be dealt with, without further delay, and a date for a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment named.”

For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8619087