Gender quotas 'make big difference' in election results

Update 3.34pm: Women for Election co-founder Michelle O'Donnell Keating has refuted any claims of tokenism after the introduction of gender quotas.

“Personally, I think that there’s very few women that ran in this General Election that could ever be called a token,

“I think the vast majority of these women that ran were highly competent, they were professional women in their own right.

“Yes, they were members of a political party and they ran in a situation which had a gender quota, but I think one of the things that is reflected in this election is the fact that there is no voter bias towards women.”

Latest: This was the country's first ever General Election to include gender quotas.

Under the new rules at least 30% of all candidates fielded by parties had to be women.

Of the 95 Dáil seats filled so far - 25 of them are occupied by female Deputies.

Women for Election co-founder Michelle O'Donnell Keating expects that figure to reach the early 30s and said gender quotas made a real difference: “It provided choice for all the voters, a choice in constituencies where they never had choice before.

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“The only county, or the only constituency that didn’t have a woman was Limerick county.

“Now what we will see at the outset is yes the numbers may not dramatically increase, by 100% in terms of the number of women that ran, but let’s not forget that many of the people who lost their seats were female.”

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