Gender quotas

Over on the Anti-Room group blog, Amanda posts about female political representation and gender quotas. She notes:

Now we hear news that Irish female politicians as a group (all be it a very small one in comparison to their male counterparts) are not in favour of introducing quotas to ensure a greater number of women get into power.

A very thorough article in today’s Irish Times by political correspondent Mary Minihan, found that of the 23 female TDs currently in power,

“Fourteen are against and eight are for a proposal that candidate quota legislation be introduced in an attempt to bring more women into politics. One TD is undecided on the issue.”

The NI Assembly currently has 15 female MLAS sitting alongside 93 male MLAs. That’s exactly the same proportion (13.9%) as the Dáil.

Up at Stormont, the party breakdown is 8 Sinn Féin; 3 SDLP; 2 DUP; 1 Alliance; 1 Other; 0 UUP. At the last Assembly election, 18 female MLAs were elected, but three have moved on, all replaced with males: Iris Robinson (DUP), Carmel Hanna (SDLP) and Naomi Long (Alliance).

Amanda goes on

The main issue here though, is whether introducing quotas would downgrade all women’s place and participation in main steam politics …

This is a country that implemented a blasphemy law so as not to offend religious people, yet refusing women an equal voice in power is not openly considered ignorant, even by the women who are in power …

It brings an old Roddy Doyle quote to mind.

It seems the land once ruled by Queen Medb is still firmly under the heel of religiously implemented patriarchical power.