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Time to ensure women equally represented in Dail -- and withhold funding if they are not

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Joan Burton, left, with Labour women past and present. Only 25 out of the Dail's 166 TDs are women

Joan Burton, left, with Labour women past and present. Only 25 out of the Dail's 166 TDs are women

Joan Burton, left, with Labour women past and present. Only 25 out of the Dail's 166 TDs are women

I WISH to welcome the proposed legislation to cut state funding for all political parties unless at least 30pc of their general election candidates are women.

At a time in our history where women are adequately represented in almost all areas of Irish life -- except in our national Parliament -- I feel this proposed legislation is long overdue.

However, allied to this proposal, I would also like to see an overhaul of the workings of Dail Eireann in order to make it a more family-friendly environment, and one that recognises the unique challenges facing women in the workplace.

Considering that only 25 of the 166 seats in the Dail are occupied by women, there is room for major improvement, although I welcome the fact that the Government's 11 nominees to the Seanad included seven women candidates.

Introducing gender quotas into Irish politics is part of the Programme for Government, along with proposed legislation to place a ban on corporate donations.

As a newly elected female TD, I am looking forward to the day when legislation for all our people can be framed and implemented by male and female TDs in equal measure.

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy
Fine Gael TD, Laois/Offaly
Birr, Co Offaly

Irish Independent