Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Monday) called on Fianna Fáil to clarify how it proposes to increase the number of female politicians in our national parliament. Deputy Doherty’s comments come after a motion to introduce gender quotas was defeated at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis.
“Considering Fianna Fáil doesn’t have a single female TD in the Dáil, I would have thought that the Party would be particularly keen to boost the number of women politicians. But apparently not. I was shocked to learn that a motion calling for gender quotas to be introduced was defeated by Fianna Fáil members at the weekend.
“As one of the few female TDs in the Dáil, I recognise the need to address the gender imbalance in Leinster House. Our national parliament should be representative of society. This is something the Government is acutely aware of, and that’s why we have introduced progressive legislation to directly address this issue.
“The Electoral Amendment Bill will introduce gender quotas, to ensure each party has 30% of women and 30% of men as candidates. Any party that fails to comply will face a cut in State funding. This legislation is a significant step forward in making our national parliament a more representative, modern force for change.
“Increasing the number of female politicians in the Dáil will benefit society as a whole. For too long Leinster House has been a closed environment for a closeted few; Fine Gael wants to encourage men and women from all sectors to enter public life and make a contribution. Indeed, I would argue that if more women had been present, different choices may have been made on issues of national importance in recent years.
“Fianna Fáil failed to address this problem in Government; now it seems they can’t even agree on a credible approach in Opposition.”