Programme for Government criticised for being vague on plans to get more women elected
Women for Election has labelled a programme for government formation agreed by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party "disappointingly vague" in its commitments to see more women elected to local government.
Ciairín de Buis, CEO of Women for Election said: "The Programme for Government was an opportunity to show the next government are serious about wanting to see more women running for election - we had called on the negotiating parties to commit to a 40% quota for our next local and Seanad elections, a practical way to ensure parties run a balanced ticket. Instead, we got vague aspirations.
"While the Programme for Government has the right sentiment and we very much welcome this, it falls short on practical commitments. We need more women at all levels of Irish political life, and this Programme for Government doesn't contain those practical commitments needed to ensure we have a political system reflective of Irish society."
Ciairín de Buis continued: "The next government needs to show some political leadership. A balanced cabinet would be a start in showing a commitment to seeing more women in politics. Only 19 women have ever served as a cabinet minister in Ireland. The next Taoiseach can bring about real change and appoint a balanced cabinet. It is, after all, 2020."
Ciairín de Buis also pointed out that the next Taoiseach can also ensure better balance in the Oireachtas by nominating women to the Seanad. "The next Taoiseach can nominate women, in all our diversity, to the next Seanad. The 11 nominees should be made up of women from all walks of life, reflecting Irish society, to bring fresh perspectives to the Irish political system."