Enright loss is a blow for women
OLWYN Enright, Fine Gael TD for Laois-Offaly, does not intend to contest her Dail seat at the next general election. That means more than the loss of a popular deputy. It means that unless another woman takes her place, the already dismally low representation of women in the Dail will fall.
It is more than a little shameful that Ireland ranks so low in female parliamentary representation -- beaten not only by developed nations but by Third World countries. And the reasons for this unhappy distinction are far from clear.
Politics, anywhere and in any circumstances, is a difficult career for women. Prejudice still exists, even among their own sex. Parliaments sit at inconvenient hours. Women often have to balance the demands of a constituency against those of running a household and bringing up children.