Women for Election has called on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to consider gender balance when appointing a new Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Chairperson Michelle O’Donnell Keating said Frances Fitzgerald was one of only four female members of Cabinet. Her resignation yesterday reduces that number to just three, pending the appointment of a new Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
O’Donnell Keating said it was very positive to hear Taoiseach Leo Varadkar acknowledging the importance of women’s representation in Irish politics last weekend, at the National Women’s Council FemFest event.
She urged the Taoiseach to act on this sentiment and ensure the proportion of women in Cabinet is not diminished by his appointments of a new Tánaiste and Minister.
“It is important that women’s voices are at the centre of policy and political decisions. As the quota for selection legislation has shown, working towards gender balance in politics requires concrete action and practical measures to make any advance.
“While the last election improved female representation in the Dáil significantly, we are still a long way from balanced representation. Now is a time to build upon what we have achieved’’ O’Donnell Keating continued.
O’Donnell Keating said that Fine Gael was the lead party in Government that proposed the gender quota for selection legislation and ensured that it was passed by the Oireachtas.
Thirty-five women were elected as Members of the 32nd Dáil, an all- time high. Yet, women still account for just 22 per cent of TDs and 30 per cent of senators.