Gender Inequlaity On A Political Basis

Currently there are 158 TD’s in the Dáil, with only 35 of them (22%) being females since the last election in February 2016. In the Seanad there are only 18 females (30%) out of 60 since the last election in April 2016 (McGuill, 2016). These figures clearly show that a man dominate on a political basis and clearly shows inequality of female and male representation within Dáil Eireann and Seanad Eireann. The first ever female elected was Constance Markievicz, who was elected in 1918. In 2016, Ireland was placed sixth in the Global Gender Gap index and this suggested that woman in Ireland still earn 14% less than males, even though some of them may be working more hours and may be involved in higher paid jobs (Degruyter. com, 2018).

There is still unequal pay among woman and men, it is noted that the gender pay gap has fallen back a little more. In 2012 it was 14. 4% but in recent years has fallen to 13. 9% (Ireland - European Commission, 2018). So what are the reasons behind so little female representation within the Dáil. Some would argue that females entering governmental issues are differentiated against the 'naturalized' male occupant. Their quality is questioned and conduct investigated, which then contributes 'to a thought of females as strange and unnatural in the political circle '. (Degruyter. com, 2018)The rise of female TD’S and Senators leads to an increase in the amount of woman working and helps them go into a particular job that they are specifically interested in. An increase in the amount of woman in Dáil Eireann could help resolve this problem for female workers. Recent figures released from the CSO suggested that in 2012 the number of females employed was 55. 1% which was a huge increase from 32. 2% in 1991 (Degruyter. com, 2018). Perhaps this is down to the rise of females within Dáil Eireann (pg 19 all of it). In local areas, men usually control councils which then does not allow females to express their qualities and views as much as some would like. Females do mostly have a say in local groups or communities but can’t really express their political views in a party as men politically speaking ‘dominate’. A key factor for a low percentage of women being in the Dáil could be down to the facts that up until the 70’s females were not accepted in the workplace. Nowadays however, females are outperforming males in state exams scoring higher and advancing in to 3rd level education. In this day and age, it is far more acceptable for woman to work than it was the 70’s and further back. After the general election in 2016, the amount of females TD’s in Dáil Eireann grew to 22%, it was previously 16. 3% in the past Dáil.

An important reason to have equality among male and female representation in the Dáil is to somehow reduce the amount of violence againstwoman. In this year alone, two innocent women Justine Valdez and Anastasia Kriegel were both murdered for no apparent reason. This is clearly an issue that needs to be looked at and would probably only get the chance to be addressed by females within the Dáil. A recent report by the European Union fundamental rights agency accounted that 14% of females in Ireland have encountered physical harm from their partner since they were 15, which in turn is absolutely not acceptable. (Ireland - European Commission, 2018)The Irish National Election study found that two-thirds of the public would like to see an increase in the number of females in politics in Ireland. No matter what, people voting should have an equal balance of candidates to choose from but in a lot of Irish constituencies at election date no female candidates are picked by the main political organisations which then results in the public having limited choices to vote. After the 2007 general election, it was estimated that there was only 20% of female candidates overall that were sent forward by their constituencies. (Data. oireachtas. ie, 2009) (page 26 )A lot of the time woman are faced with the ‘four c’s’ which can prevent them from going into politics.

They are:

  1. Childcare – Females are still regarded as having the main responsibility of caring for children and nothing politically speaking has been sought yet to help those with their care responsibilities.
  2. Cash – Insufficient finance poses a considerable impediment to females looking to take part in politics. Specifically, the prices related to running a political campaign for election may affect females as they earn less than men. Females in Ireland presently earn twenty percent lower than males. It may also be noted that females may spend more time out of work because of the responsibility of childcare that they have.
  3. Confidence – When it comes to confidence females usually tend not to participate as frequently as males in politics. Women are not as used to politics as men and therefore are not as familiar with the world of politics as their male counterparts and therefore may be afraid to voice their opinion.
  4. Culture – As most political organisations are run by males, the culture of a male’s behaviour or his tone of language can make these parties uncomfortable for some females. Some local political meetings may be held in a pub which some females may find uncomfortable.

Female representation in the Dáil would lead to them bringing a different perspective and expression than their male counterparts. Female’s participation in basic leadership is a key factor for woman’s authorization strengthening, with some contending that it is an essential human right of females to take part straightforwardly in basic leadership forms that influence their lives and the lives of others. Another key element is that gender equality is a basic condition for democracy, with national reviews finding that both males and females find political establishments all the more reasonable, democratic and real when more females are involved. Females are probably more likely to raise issues regarding gender equality, schooling and education, child welfare and savagery against females which looks to have increased in recent years in Ireland.

15 Jun 2020
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