Rebellion – Will 2016 produce another for gender balance?

I have been watching RTE’s drama series Rebellion with my fifteen year old daughter. It is great the extent to which the story includes women and indeed is told from their perspectives. Whether its poverty, the status of unmarried women, the ill treatment of men and women by people in positions of power – it all serves to point out that women and men need to do battle to combat inequality.

Some interesting statistics from the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics show that in 1918 one woman and sixty eight men were elected – 1%. Fifty one years later (1969) three women and one hundred and forty one men – 3%. Seventy four years later (1992) twenty women and one hundred forty six men were elected. Since then the figures have more or less flatlined. In the 2011 election twenty five women and one hundred and forty one men – 15%. This was three more women than in 2007. Candidate selection gender quotas have been proven in other countries to work at correcting the gender imbalance in politics.

Let’s hope they work for Ireland, we certainly need them……

How do Most Men Manage to not see their Advantage?

Kathy Sheridan is spot on in her article in today’s Irish Times Here

She points out the gender blindness that most men but Irish men in particular seem to have. How being born male hands them an unfair advantage. Why is it that most men don’t seem embarrassed to have this unfair advantage?

It is worth repeating – Fiach Mac Conghail’s belated insight – “The fact that I haven’t programmed a new play by a female playwright is not something I can defend. This experience has presented a professional challenge to me as a programmer and has made me question the filters and factors that influence my decision-making.”

The challenge to the candidate gender quotas is proof of the resistance that suits some men. When will gender equality be an aspiration for most men? 5050 hopes by 2020……..