Broadcasters should hold women's debate, says TD


RTÉ AND other broadcasters have been encouraged to schedule debates between leading female politicians during the general election campaign.

Green Party deputy leader Mary White TD said one in two voters in the election would be women, yet viewers would see hardly any female candidates on their television screens during the campaign.

“I believe that all broadcasters should prominently feature a debate between female representatives of the political parties,” she said.

The Green Party has asked RTÉ to consider holding a women’s debate and Ms White said the party would ask the same of TV3 when it met the station’s executives this week.

Ms White said she backed John Gormley’s call for the series of leaders’ debates that would include all five parties represented in the outgoing Dáil but as all the party leaders were men, multiple debates with them was only going to make the problem worse.

“I am disappointed by reports that just 15 per cent of candidates running in the general election will be women,” she said.

“There are 23 women in the outgoing Dáil Éireann, accounting for barely one in seven seats. To get more women into the Dáil we need to change how politics works. But we also need our media to provide a good platform for females running for election,” Ms White added.

Ms White, a former minister of state for equality, said: “Given the lack of consensus amongst the parties on linking candidate quotas with party funding or some other form of electoral or political sanction, I believe that legislation is needed to introduce more balance in our political system.”