Gender quotas get legal backing in Ireland

Interesting news from Ireland on the long-running question of male dominance of elected Parliamentary posts:

GENDER QUOTAS are set to become law after the Electoral Amendment (Political Funding) Bill 2011 passed all stages in the Dáil yesterday.

The legislation, which has yet to be signed by the President, will halve State funding to parties unless 30 per cent of their candidates at the next general election are women. This figure will rise to 40 per cent at subsequent general elections…

The lobby group Women for Election also welcomed the development, but said the legislation would not be enough to encourage more women into politics.

Co-founder Niamh Gallagher said other “proactive” measures, such as mentoring and training, were necessary to encourage more women to run for office.

The legislation has proved contentious in the past, with a small number of Government backbenchers speaking out against it. [Irish Times]

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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5 Comments

  • Simon McGrath 24th Jul '12 - 9:52pm

    I remember the days when Lib Dems were against sex discrimination. Indeed we though it so important we put it in our constitution
    “we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation”

  • Donnacha Maguire 25th Jul '12 - 9:07am

    While this Bill was passed , it doesn’t have universal support. Many feel that it is merely a plaster over a wound and won’t deal with the fundamental reasons why women don’t get involved or stay involved in the political process.

  • Its good to see how different areas are taking action to increase gender balance.

    As this is a quota for candidates, the effect on overall elected representatives is not certain, however it will certainly galvanise parties’ efforts to overcome the extra barriers that women face.

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