Women For Election congratulate new women Senators but express disappointment at gender composition of new Seanad

Women for Election has this evening congratulated all of those women elected to the new Seanad but expressed its disappointment at the gender composition of the upper house. Results are in for the 49 seats on the Vocational constituencies and University panels in the Seanad elections – 15 women were elected comprising 30.5% of the total.

Ciairín de Buis, CEO of Women for Election said: “Fourteen women were also elected to the Seanad panels in 2016, and, naturally, we had hoped to see that number increase significantly. Echoing the result of the Dáil General Election, the number of women Senators remains almost static. The fact that we are still so far from gender parity in the Oireachtas is a real concern. We hear a lot of talk about commitment to gender equality from the parties but we see very little progress in terms of those actually elected. The larger parties in particular need to look seriously at their candidate selection and support processes, as they are clearly not working.”

Ciairín de Buis set out the results of the Seanad Election for each party from a gender perspective:

  • No women Senators were elected for Fine Gael with three outgoing Senators losing their seats. On the other hand, Fine Gael men secured twelve seats on five panels.
  • Of the thirteen Fianna Fáil Senators elected, just three are women, one returned to the Industrial and Commercial panel and one elected for the first time to Culture and Education panel, on which she is the only women. Their sitting Senator lost her seat on the Admin panel.
  • The three Green Party candidates were all women, two of whom got elected with the third narrowly missing out on transfers.
  • Sinn Féin have two new women Senators on the Agriculture and Industrial & Commercial panels, but their sitting Senator was eliminated early on from the Labour panel.
  • The Labour party put forward three women & one man for the vocational panels who all secured a seat and with the re-election of Ivana Bacik in TCD, that means they have the highest number of women Senators with four.
  • In relation to Independent women, there was no change to the NUI & TCD panels as Senators Alice-Mary Higgins and Lynn Ruane were re-elected. The two other successful Independent candidates Senator Frances Black and Cllr Sharon Keogan were both elected on the Industrial & Commercial panel.

Ciairín de Buis concluded “Now, more than ever, we need leaders who represent us all, and for that, we need more women in the Seanad and in the Dáil. Big decisions are coming down the line which will impact us all and women need to be at that table. We strongly urge the next Taoiseach (whoever that may be) to remember this, when it’s time to select the remaining 11 Senators (Taoiseach’s nominees) and when forming the Cabinet. ”

% Women Senators 

NUI Panel: 1/3 = 33%
Sen. Alice Mary Higgins (Ind)
University of Dublin (TCD) Panel: 2/3 = 66%
Sen. Ivana Bacik (Lab)
Sen. Lynn Ruane (Ind)
Cultural & Educational Panel: 1/5 = 20%
Lisa Chambers (FF)
Agricultural Panel: 3/11 = 27%
Sen. Pippa Hackett (GP)
Annie Hoey (Lab)
Lynn Boylan (SF)
Labour Panel: 2/11 = 18%
Pauline O Reilly (GP)
Marie Sherlock (Lab)
Industrial & Commercial Panel  4/9 = 44%
Sen. Catherine Ardagh (FF)
Sen. Frances Black (Ind)
Elisha McCallion (SF)
Sharon Keogan (Ind)
Administrative Panel: 2/7 = 28.5%
Fiona O Loughlin (FF)
Rebecca Moynihan (Lab)

Women Senators who lost seats in SE2020
Máire Devine (SF), Gabrielle McFadden (FG), Maria Byrne (FG) Catherine Noone (FG) Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF)

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