Challenging the male establishment


Sir, – Diarmaid Ferriter tells us that “protesting women . . . have always raised the hackles of the men in charge” and quotes Irish women occupying Liberty Hall 100 years ago as a challenge to “the male establishment” (Opinion, April 8th).

How ineffective that challenge was to the male establishment can be judged from the fact that for most of the time since, despite being a majority in the electorate, women have had a minimal representation in the Oireachtas.

Even after the imposition of a quota of 30 per cent, female candidates in the recent election women still represent less than a quarter of TDs.

A more spectacular symptom of this malaise was seen in the recent US presidential election when a misogynistic and highly questionable male candidate was supported by a majority of white women voters against a highly competent and experienced woman for the most powerful political post in the world.

Much more remains to be done in relation to equality between the sexes than just raising the hackles of the men in charge. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.