30 October 2015
By Tom O’Sullivan
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada – from the Muskerry Gaeltacht on the Cork/Kerry border – has said society must do more to increase women’s representation in government.
Speaking after a meeting of the Countess Markievicz Circle of Women for Election in Brussels, Ms Ní Riada said,
“The fact that in 2015, almost 100 years after the election of Ireland’s first female Member of Parliament, there are currently only 27 female TDs and 23 female MLAs is astounding. Women make up 51% of the Irish population and to think that we are not equally represented at cabinet level is inexcusable.
“This is not about sexism. This is not about pushing women into politics. This is about educating, from a young age, the importance of equality and equal representation. It is also about inspiring and equipping women to succeed in politics.
MEP for the South, Ms Ni Riada continues,
“It is important that we change attitudes and remove glass ceilings so we encourage more young women into politics. A diversity of voices in politics would lead to more robust decisions and help create a fairer, more inclusive society.
“Decisions and policies drawn up at all levels have a direct impact on women right across the country and they need to be front and centre in all areas, from local government to National government.
“While Sinn Féin has been progressive in promoting women in politics and almost 28% of our representatives of our MLAs, TDs and MEPs are female, we are well aware that more can be done and other parties should be recognising the importance of this.” ENDS