'The net result is not more women': Ex TD questions why gender quotas not having desired effect

Overall, there are 36 female TDs, one more than the previous Dáil
'The net result is not more women': Ex TD questions why gender quotas not having desired effect
Former Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell

A former TD says work needs to be done to examine why gender quotas in politics are not working.

Political parties lose funding if fewer than 30% of their general election candidates are women.

However, that has not seen any significant rise in the number of women getting elected.

Former Fine Gael TD Kate O'Connell says despite work in the last number of years, the new measures haven't worked.

"The problem is the net result is not more women," she said.

So we have to us, as a party, look at why the measures we have put in and why the investment and training we have put in has not yielded additional female parliamentarians.

Ms O’Connell said she has seen some resistance from some members of the party when female candidates progress.

She added: “There was a massive push-back from certain sectors…. I am speaking about my own party because that is what I have knowledge of.

“When there is progress from women there is push-back from some elements from the party – usually the Young Fine Gael wing.”

Ms O'Connell was among a number of high-profile female TDs to lose her seat in February's election along with party colleague Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Fianna Fáil's Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers, Fiona O’Loughlin and Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, and Ruth Coppinger of Solidarity-People Before Profit.

Elsewhere Labour's Joan Burton and Jan O’Sullivan also lost seats they had held for over two decades.

Among the first-time elected female TDs serving in the Dáil are Sinn Féin's Mairéad Farrell, Sorca Clarke, Patricia Ryan and Rose Conway-Walsh as well as Jennifer Carroll MacNeill (Fine Gael) Holly Cairns (Social Democrats) and Fianna's Fáil's Norma Foley in Kerry.

Ms Cairns was the only one female deputy was elected among the five Cork constituencies, while none were elected in Limerick and Tipperary.

Overall, there are 36 female TDs, one more than the previous Dáil

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