Thursday 21 September 2017

Ireland has 'lowest number of female politicians in developed world'

Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor
Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor
Sinn Fein Vice President Mary Lou McDonald
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

IRELAND has one of the lowest number of female politicians among developed nations and the numbers have remained broadly similar since 2002.

A report from the OECD says that some 15pc of TDs and senators are women, compared with an average of almost 30pc across 34 countries.

And it says that the numbers have only slightly risen since 2002, despite the role that women play in highlighting important socio-economic issues including family-friendly policies, equal pay, electoral reform and delivery of services.

Just 12 of the 34 member countries have reached or exceeded the 30pc representational threshold recommended by the United Nations, with Nordic countries the most progressive where 40pc of seats are held by women.

The ‘Government at a Glance 2012’ report, published this morning, contains data which can be used to benchmark governments’ performance against others, and provide evidence as to the effectiveness of their policy making.

It includes 50 indicators on educational outcomes, health and confidence in branches of government including the judiciary.

And it finds that confidence in the government has plummeted to among the lowest levels among the 34 member states, while trust in our political parties is even lower.

Just three in evey ten people has confidence in the government, a drop of almost 30pc since the financial crisis hit in 2007, but even fewer have belief in our political leaders.

It reveals a worrying lack of positivity among ordinary people in what the government is trying to achieve in office, but notes that fewer than 5pc of people take part in online consultations or submit their views.

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said while the global economy was improving, the world continued to grapple with the consequences of the financial, economic and social crisis which impacted on trust in governments.

“Citizens look to governments to lead the way,” he said. “Without strong leadership, supported by effective policies, trust is easily eroded. Indeed, the crisis has taken its toll on trust in government.

“Citizens across the OECD have lost their confidence in the ability of policy makers to solve economic problems and respond to their needs and demands. It is essential that governments regain the confidence of their citizens to carry out necessary reforms.”

It also reveals that more than 70pc of people are satisfied with the police, and that more than 80pc of use are happy with our education system - the highest level in the OECD.

However, satisfaction with the availability of quality health care is below the average - about 65pc said they were happy, compared with just over 70pc on average.

The report is being launched in Paris this morning.

Irish Independent

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