posted by David Farrell, June 5 2012

The introduction of gender quotas and its implications for candidate selection and women’s political representation in Ireland will be the focus of a seminar taking place at University College Cork this month. UCC’s Departments of Government and Women’s Studies will present a morning seminar “WOMEN IN POLITICS: FROM QUOTAS TO REPRESENTATION” on Friday, June 15th 2012.

Legislation on political party funding and candidate gender quotas is currently being debated in Dáil Éireann. The Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2011 provides for a 30% gender quota for party candidates at the next election, rising to 40% seven years thereafter. Non-compliant parties will risk financial penalties.

Currently, there are only 25 women in Dáil Éireann accounting for 15 per cent of all seats. The numbers for Seanad Éireann are marginally better where 18 of the 60 senators (30 per cent of the seats) are women.

The seminar will hear from a number of researchers and practitioners in the fields of women’s studies and gender politics. Speakers include Minister Kathleen Lynch, Prof. Sarah Childs (Bristol University), Orla O’Connor (National Women’s Council of Ireland) and Fiona Buckley (University College Cork). The seminar will review the current ‘gender quota’ bill and examine how gender quotas can be integrated into candidate selection measures. The seminar will also discuss the link between women’s descriptive and substantive representation, and the impact of women’s (under) representation on policymaking.

The seminar takes place in Room 212 of the O’Rahilly Building, UCC and will run from 9.30am to 12.30pm. While attendance at the seminar is free of charge, attendees are asked to pre-register to ensure availability of seating.

To register and for further information, please contact Fiona Buckley (f.buckley@ucc.ie or 021 – 4903237).


  1. Shouldn’t quota’s for women be just one part of a serious of quotas in the boardroom and in the professions as they did in Norway, plus shouldn’t there be a set number of seats set aside for women too?

    But also does Ireland have the quality of women the country needs or will it simply be more of the same type of women we’ve had – what will have to change to motivate the women who would do a far better job but are put off by the whole ‘ethics’ of how politics are done in Ireland.

  2. @RepublicofZen Intrigued to know how gender quotas will make the government ‘even less representative’? With women accounting for 51% of the population, their parliamentary presence of 15% leaves a lot of room for improvement.

    • I agree , There seems to be the opinion that if gender quotas are followed through with that somehow the most capable people wont get the jobs . We are 51% of the population ,we are highly educated and just as skilled and capable as our male counterparts to run the country. Move over Boys its time to recognise and utilise over half the intellectual treasure we have in our country.

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