100 Years Since Markievicz; We Need More Women in Cabinet

Ivana Bacik TD
02 April 2019

On the centenary of Markievicz’s appointment, Senator Bacik has called for an increase in the number of women around the Cabinet table. 

Today 2nd April 2019 marks the centenary of Countess Markievicz being appointed as Secretary for Labour and a member of the Irish government – making her the first woman to hold a ministerial position in Ireland and the first female Minister in Western Europe.

Speaking in the Seanad today, Senator Ivana Bacik will mark the centenary of Markievicz’s historic appointment to Cabinet, saying:

“Constance Markievicz was one of only two women to stand for election on the island of Ireland in December 1918 and was the only woman elected to the first Dáil and to the House of Commons in that election, winning over 65% of the votes in St Patrick’s Ward in her Dublin constituency. She was a remarkable woman who blazed a trail in the political causes of women’s suffrage, socialism, and Irish republicanism.

“Last year, I was proud to chair the cross-party Vótáil 100 programme organising events to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland. As part of our programme, we travelled to Westminster to present the House of Commons with a portrait of Markievicz in recognition of her election as the first woman MP – the first time that her portrait had been displayed there.

“A key message from Vótáil 100 was the need to achieve higher numbers of women in politics. We noted that, after Markievicz’s appointment, it took another 60 years before a second woman entered Cabinet (Maire Geoghegan Quinn in 1979). In total, only 19 women have served as Government Ministers to date. On today’s centenary date, I am calling on the Government to take active steps to increase women’s participation in politics, and in particular to commit to increasing the numbers of women in Cabinet.”

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