We were delighted to welcome Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers and Equal Voice Vice President Joan Weinman to Cork recently. They spoke at UCC about the Canadian experience of implementing gender balance in politics.
Like Ireland they have struggled to implement systems that allow both sexes to prosper in equal measure in politics. They agree that gender balance is a necessary feature of a properly functioning democracy. They have managed to achieve one in four without quotas but have struggled to move beyond that number. We have had to implement legislated candidate quotas in order to move to one in five in this general election.
Canada has the first gender balanced cabinet of a developed economy. We look forward in Ireland to be able to do that sometime this century – hopefully.
Edel Clancy, Ambassador Kevin Vickers and Joan Weinman at UCC.