Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Ireland's 90th anniversary of women's first vote

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the day Irish women took to the polls for the first time.

Female senators and TD's both past and present were at the Dail this week for celebrations held in to mark the occasion.

Women here were allowed to vote in the general election after winning the right to Universal suffrage in 1918.

90 years ago today, Christmas shopping took a back seat as Irish women braved the electoral booths for the first time.

But their trip to the polls came with certain conditions - they had to be over thirty years of age and land owners, a restriction that wasn't lifted until ten years later in 1928.

This year is also the anniversary of the election of Ireland's first female member of parliament - Countess Markiewicz.

But since then, Irish women have been largely under represented in Irish politics.

Countess Markievicz was without a successor for 60 years, until the election of Maire Geoghegan Quinn in 1979.

Irish women have filled just under seven per cent of seats in the Dail and Seanad since their first general election and Ireland is currently ranked 87th in the world for its female representation in Government.

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