Sir, - The Women's Political Association congratulates the 20 women elected to Dail Eireann in 1997. However, it is disappointing not to see a better representation of women in the roles of decision making in political life.

With regard to the women who lost, it would be unwise for women and men to jump to conclusions about gender balance. It is clear that women politicians have made an outstanding contribution in their terms of office and this is reflected by the overall high level of achievements.

The poll results have shown how dangerous it is to take the election of women for granted. We must be aware that in every election extra efforts must be made on behalf of women to create gender balance.

Therefore every generation of women must reinvent the women's platform to maintain this balance and bring it forward. It is now blatantly apparent that a Ministry for Women's Affairs is urgently needed to redress the current balance.

We are calling on all political parties to consider a gender quota in all future elections as suggested in the EU recently. Yours, etc.,


Women's Political


Dublin 5.