Eilish Balfe, Labour Party Local Area Representative for Ratoath has called for more women to step forward and take up a role in politics.

She was speaking on the occasion of the National Women’s Council hosting a webinar on Women’s Political Participation.

‘It’s not good for democracy that in the 21st century, only one of the six TDs in Meath East and Meath West is a woman. Only 14 of our 40 Councillors on Meath County Council are women.’

Eilish Balfe with her daughter at the busy junction

“With the increasing role of social media in politics, it has become clear that women experience high levels of gender-based abuse and harassment in carrying out their everyday roles as public representatives. This misogynistic abuse, particularly online, is becoming an increasing barrier to women’s political participation.’

‘Positive action is important in promoting women in politics. The 30% quota introduced in 2012 has generated some positive change. Hopefully, the 40% quota in the next general election will see the election of many more women to the Dáil. Without enforceable legal targets or quotas, the numbers of women in politics will not rise and those women who are in political life will continue to experience ‘everyday sexism’ and Irish politics will be the poorer for it.’