Mná na Tuaisceart lead the way April 16, 2007Posted by franklittle in Democratic Unionist Party, Feminism, Gender Issues, Ireland, Irish Election 2007, Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, Ulster.
The DUP has announced the identities and portfolios of it’s four Ministers in the Northern Executive. There are no real surprises, but with the selection of Arlene Foster as the Environment Minister, it means that four out of the ten strong Executive will be women.
Foster joins Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew (Agriculture), Caitríona Ruane (Education) and the SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie (Social Development). Four out of the Assembly’s 19 women members (Eight of which are Sinn Féin interestingly), an increase of only one I think on the ’03 election, are now full Ministers, working out at 40%. In the Dáil, three of Bertie’s 15 Ministers are women, working out at 20%. Also in the Dáil, 22 out of 166 TDs are women, working out at just over 13%, compared to just under 18% in the Northern Assembly.
This is despite the well deserved reputation Northern politics has for a macho, anti-woman culture. And yet, on the issue of representation of women in politics, there are proportionately more women in their ‘parliament’ in the North, and more women in Ministerial positions, than in the South. No doubt, an issue that will be discussed at the next society luncheon in the Four Seasons organised by the National Women’s Council of Ireland (Middle-class wing).