Friday 28 April 2017

Editorial: Kenny did women no favours in this reshuffle

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has unveiled a shake-up in the ministerial ranks
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has unveiled a shake-up in the ministerial ranks

IF the mid-term cabinet reshuffle was aimed at sending out new, positive messages, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has failed utterly in respect of the promotion of women in politics. Nor has he made any apology for it. This Government, to its credit, has won plaudits at home and abroad by fortifying, on merit, the representation of women in the legal profession.

The posts of Chief Justice, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Chief State Solicitor, amongst others, are all held by women. Almost a third of judges are now female.

Diane Abbott, the former British Labour MP – and the first black woman elected to the House of Commons – once mused that it is because politics is so important that it is the last arena men are prepared to give up. It is hard to rebut the presumption that this inequitable vein also runs through Irish politics.

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