Tuesday 21 November 2017

Equality in the dail

IT is a strange commentary on the quality of our democracy that when it comes to gender equality, the legal profession can now be seen as a beacon of egalitarianism when set against the contrast provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas. In fairness to Mr Gilmore, whose commitment to advancing women to higher office is rarely acknowledged, the positive development where the barriers of gender, if not class, have been breached was kick-started by the appointment of Ireland's first female Attorney General Maire Whelan.

The presence, however, of three women on the Supreme Court and their high overall profile in the law has cast a long shadow on the appalling status of women in Leinster House. In particular, it is beyond being embarrassing for Fine Gael that only one female minister has been appointed from its record-sized ranks. Such a ratio would have looked pitiful during the Haughey era, let alone today. More action is required from Mr Kenny on the role of women in a political system that spends far too much of its time 'Amongst Men'.

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