Ministers and gender equality


A chara, – Poor Leo Varadkar. Never in the history of the State has a Taoiseach ticked so many politically correct boxes, and yet he is being hung out to dry for the red herring that is gender balance.

There is no pleasing some people. – Is mise,




Sir, – The issue of the under-representation of women is receiving some attention after the recent cabinet reshuffle. The figures given by Mary Minihan state the situation very well (“Decision to sideline new TDs seen as reason for gender inequality”, June 22nd). Some 22 per cent of TDs, 21 per cent of Ministers and 22 per cent of the main Government party are women.

Women, because they live longer, are a majority in the electorate in this so-called representative democracy. Despite that, they have during all the years since independence comprised a much lower proportion of elected representatives than even the present 22 per cent.

The case can be made for more women, therefore, if our representative democracy is to become more representative of the fact that women are a majority.

However, as the example of the last general election in Ireland, and more spectacularly the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency, have shown, that is not going to change any time soon.

Some 30 per cent of candidates were women in the last Irish election. Some 22 per cent were elected. Female candidates, therefore, got fewer votes.

In the US, more than 50 per cent of white American women voted for Mr Trump against a competent and experienced woman candidate for the most powerful political post in the world.

Unless and until women use their majority in the electorate to elect women more in proportion to their number in that electorate, they are going to continue to be under-represented as they have been for the last 100 years or so since women were allowed to vote. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.