SENATOR IVANA BACIK wants to mark the 95th anniversary of the first election in which Irish women could vote with a special event for all female senators and deputies – past and present.
The 1918 General Election also saw Constance Markievicz election as the first woman TD and MP.
The commemoration, to be held on Tuesday, will involve a reading of a speech about women’s right to vote which was given by Markievicz ahead of polling day on 14 December 1918.
An official photograph of all of Leinster House’s current and past female representatives will also be taken. An image from a similar occasion in December 2008 now hangs on the walls of Leinster House, just opposite the Captain’s office.
“This year, it is important that we mark this historic anniversary again, both by celebrating and honouring the many women who have been elected to the Dáil and Seanad since 1918, but also by noting how small the numbers of women are as a proportion of our elected representatives overall,” says Bacik.
More must be done to encourage women to enter political life – and events like this may help to raise awareness about the need for more women to enter political life.
“There are currently 26 women TDs out of 166; and 19 women Senators out of 60. If all 45 of us are present in the Seanad chamber next Tuesday, the 60-seat chamber will then have a majority of women representatives present for the first time ever.”