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Lack of women in Cabinet direct result of failed action to promote women in politics

Published: Saturday, June 27, 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today expressed its disappointment at the repeatedly low number of women in Cabinet which is a direct consequence of the two main political parties failing to run sufficient number of women on electable seats during the last general election. NWCI called on the new Taoiseach Micheál Martin and his Government to actively promote more women in politics. 

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said:

“It is really disappointing that in 2020 we will still only have four women as Cabinet Ministers. The current makeup of the Cabinet is a direct result of the missed opportunity by the two main political parties to run sufficient numbers of women on electable seats during the last general election. Four women do not even meet the current quota of 30% where we can begin to address gender balance, let alone the desired 50/50 split that has been achieved in many other countries across the world.” 

“It will be crucial now that all Ministers promote women’s equality over the next Dáil term. The decisions they make in both appointments to senior decision-making bodies and the policies they implement must show a renewed commitment to advancing women’s rights. 

Women cannot afford to wait for equality. With just 30.6% of elected Senators being women and only 22.5% women in the Dáil, progress to date has been shamefully slow. Women also remain severely underrepresented at local level. Councillors are often the pool of people that political parties recruit from for their candidates for the Oireachtas. NWCI is calling on the new Government to pass legislation for a gender quota for the local elections in 2024 and to increase support for initiatives that support women to run for political office at all levels.’’


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104.