Women's council: 'Really disappointing' that just four of 15 ministers appointed are women

The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) says it's "really" disappointed that just four of the 15 cabinet ministers appointed are women.
Women's council: 'Really disappointing' that just four of 15 ministers appointed are women
The new Cabinet, where there are just four female ministers. Picture: Maxwells

The National Women's Council of Ireland says it is really disappointed that just four of the 15 cabinet ministers appointed are women.

Yesterday, Micheál Martin was made Taoiseach and he named the members of the 33rd Dáil’s Cabinet.

Of the 15 members, the four women who have been given portfolios are:

  • Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee - Minister for Justice
  • Fianna Fáil’s Norma Foley - Minister for Education
  • Fine Gael's Heather Humphreys - Minister for Social Protection and Rural Affairs
  • Green Party’s Catherine Martin - Minister for Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism and Sport

Director of the Council, Orla O'Connor, says Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael did not give female candidates a fair shake.

“It is really disappointing that in 2020 we will still only have four women as Cabinet Ministers," said Ms O'Connor.

"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 2023 and to increase support for initiatives that support women to run for political office at all levels.’’

Pippa Hackett, from the Green Party, has been made a super junior minister as has Fine Gael’s Hildegarde Naughton.

Ms Hackett will be a Junior Minister for Agriculture with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity.

Ms Naughton will be a Junior Minister for Transport, Aviation, Maritime Transport.

As for the new Taoiseach’s

Read More:

Former Fine Gael Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty will be the Leader of the upper house.

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