Sunday 19 November 2017

Focus on gender misses vital point

Madam – While there is validity in some of what A Leavy says in his letter (Sunday Independent, April 6, 2014), it is clearly impossible to quantify the relative abilities of those men and women who were, or are, passed over for selection as Dail candidates, appointment to office, etc, for various reasons not related to their abilities, so concentrating on the waste of female talent in particular runs the risk of being simplistic.

The percentage of TDs who are female is 15 per cent, but while there is certainly no law of nature that this should remain so, it is equally true that there is no such law that this should be at any other particular level (and the same can be said in relation to men).

A major valid question that arises in relation to all-female quotas is how many female candidates will be chosen primarily for their ability and how many because they have the right connections, or simply to fill the quota. Indeed, this question is the same (except for the last part) as can be asked in relation to male candidates.

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