Belfast Telegraph

Group condemns lack of female TDs

The low number of female TDs elected to the Dail is pathetic and embarrassing, rights groups have claimed as they marked the centenary of International Women's Day.

Susan McKay, chief executive of the National Women's Council of Ireland, said legislation is needed to improve the numbers of women in politics.

"Women are half of the population but less than 17% of TDs in the new government are women," she said.

"This is pathetic in the 21st century, and acutely embarrassing for a modern nation.

"However, we are glad that some women with a strong record of support for women's equality, including Joan Burton, Frances Fitzgerald and Jan O'Sullivan, look set to have positions in which they can make real changes, including insisting that we need legislation to get more women into the Dail."

Twenty-five women were elected to the 31st Dail. The Fine Gael-Labour programme for government includes a commitment to have all state boards made up of at least 40% women.

The NWCI is to launch its Charter for Women's Equality.

It has also published a series of postcards from the archives of the National Library documenting the working lives of women at the turn of the 20th century.

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