back to latest news

Press Release: Senator Bacik Presents Report on Women's Participation in Politics

05 November 2009

Statement by Senator Ivana Bacik

Labour Senator for Dublin University Panel

For Thursday 5th November 2009

Senator Bacik Presents Report of Justice Sub-Committee on Women's Representation

Speaking on Thursday 5th November at 11.30am in the AV Room of Leinster House to launch the Report of the Sub-Committee on Women's Participation in Politics established by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's, Senator Ivana Bacik will present the findings and recommendations of the report and will say:

“Speaking as the Rapporteur to the Sub-Committee, I am delighted that this Report has achieved overwhelming cross-Party support from all those on the Justice Committee. The key findings we made are that women's representation rates in Irish politics have got worse in recent years, and that Ireland now ranks at 84th place in the world tables of women's representation, with only 23 women out of 166 TDs (13.8%). Urgent action must be taken to change this.”

Senator Bacik welcomed in particular the cross-party support for the key recommendation of the Sub-Committee, that legislation should be introduced to require political parties to select a minimum proportion of women candidates to put before the electorate at local, national and European elections, saying:

“A package of measures is necessary to address the five key challenges that women face on attempting to enter politics: Lack of childcare; lack of cash; lack of confidence; a culture that does not accept women politicians easily; and candidate selection procedures that are often murky and that tend to favour men. We need legislation to require gender balance in the selection of election candidates; and we also need to take steps to change our political culture to make it more woman-friendly.”