The Westmeath-Longford constituency’s only female representative, Sorca Clarke, says that gender quotas in parties at all levels of Government are needed to truly represent the population.
The recent Northern Ireland Assembly saw her party Sinn Féin win the popular vote for the first time in its history with a record number of female MLA’s – 12 out of 27 (45%).
Stormont will now have a record level of female representation at 36%, much higher than across the border where the figure lies at 23% and has stagnated in the last two elections.
The Belfast parliament building also has female leaders in two of its three largest parties with Naomi Long head of the Alliance Party and Michelle O’Neill leading Sinn Fein, something which is lacking in the South, says the local TD.
“Only 131 women have ever been elected TDs, so you could take every single female elected to the Dáil Éireann that’s ever been, and you would not fill every seat in the Chamber today,” said Deputy Clarke.