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‘Politics Needs Women’ Event to be Held in Dublin This Friday

This Friday, December 14, will mark 100 years since women first exercised their right to vote and to stand for national election in Ireland.
To mark this significant centenary, Minister Charles Flanagan and Minister David Stanton will host a conference in Dublin to honour the contribution women have made to Ireland’s democracy over the past 100 years.


With a line up including past President Mary Mc Aleese, and Mairead McGuinness MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, the conference will reflect on the experiences of women in politics to date and will work to identify what is needed to increase the participation of women in Irish politics in future.

  • Since the first President of Ireland was elected in 1938, just two women, Mary Robinson and Mary Mc Aleese, have served as President.
  • Since the foundation of the State women have occupied only 10% of Cabinet posts.
  • Currently 21% of Councillors, 22% of TDs and 30% of Senators are women.


The event will also review the aims of Ireland’s National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020, which sets out to advance women in leadership at all levels, including greater representation in politics.

To coincide with the Conference and to create public awareness, a schools video competition was launched by the Department of Justice and Equality in October 2018 on the topic of why Politics Needs Women. A selection of videos will be displayed at the Conference and the winner will be announced on the day.



Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1, D01 T1W6


To register for the conference click here


11.00   NWCI Members & Friends Gathering: Meet with NWCI, National Traveller’s Forum & Women for Election.         

12:30   Registration and Lunch


13:30   Welcome and Opening

Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan TD


13:40   Performance by Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, Co. Cork


13:50   Women and Voting: a Historical Perspective  

Professor Yvonne Galligan, School of History, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast


14:05   Heading the State

Professor Mc Aleese


14:15   From Local to National: Reflections from Councils and the Oireachtas –

Cllr. Sinead Guckian, Cllr. Mary Hanna Hourigan, Cllr. Gobnait Moynihan, Bríd Smith TD, Maria Bailey TD, Senator Alice-Mary Higgins.


15:00   In the Cabinet: Experience of Female Cabinet Ministers

Minister Regina Doherty TD, Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Minister Josepha Madigan TD, Minister Katherine Zappone TD, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor TD TBC


15:10   Experiences of Tánaistí

Joan Burton TD, Mary Coughlan, Frances Fitzgerald TD


15:40   Women’s Caucus and Vótáil 100: Why Politics Needs Women

Catherine Martin TD, Senator Ivana Bacik


15:50   Representing Ireland in Europe  

Mairead McGuinness MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament


16:20   Beginnings

Jeananne Crowley reads Constance Markiewicz’s letters


16:40   Promoting Women’s Interests Internationally – Ireland at the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women 

H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York


16:50   Announcement of Winner: Schools Video Competition

David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration


17:00   Close



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