Wednesday, 12th March 2008
A new report by the European Commission has revealed that women in Europe are still shut out of top posts in politics and business, despite some recent progress. Last year, just under a quarter of parliamentarians in the EU were women, up from 16% in 1997. But in Ireland, the percentage of women in the Dáil has stayed unchanged at 13%.
Out of a total of 226 TDs and Senators, only 35 are women. Ruth Deasy from the European Commission said the number of women in Irish politics is 'exceptionally low' compared with other northern European countries.
She said, 'In Ireland, inequality starts at the lowest strata of local decision-making, the VEC committees, which are the training grounds for future politicians. Another factor discouraging women from entering politics is the TD lifestyle which makes heavy demands on family life.'
In the private sector, men represent 9 out of 10 board members in top firms across Ireland and the EU, while two-thirds of company bosses are men.
Women are also out of the loop in top economic decisions - the central banks of all 27 EU member states are headed by male governors.
The report has been published to mark International Women's Day on March 8th, and comes ahead of a new European Network of women in power, to be launched later this year.
Letters to the Editor
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Once in a blue moon. As rare as hen's teeth. A Government success. Each of those three sentences are as unusual and as rare as each other. But the last one seems to be about to take place. The Government has announced that it plans to give each child in the State a second year of free pre-school. It might not sound like earth shattering news but if it does happen then it could be one of the most significant things that this Government has done since it took office. Any money that is given over to education is a …
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