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Former TD says there is ‘push back’ in Fine Gael against female candidates

Kate O’Connell said gender quotas are not helping more women make it in politics.
Apr 7th 2020, 10:02 PM 51,244 99

A FORMER FINE Gael TD has said there was resistance in some sectors of the party against female candidates.

Kate O’Connell lost her seat in Dublin Bay South in February’s general election.

O’Connell was among a number of female TDs to lose their seats in the election, with party colleagues Regina Doherty and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy also losing out.

Fianna Fáil Brexit spokeswoman Lisa Chambers and Fianna Fáil TDs Fiona O’Loughlin and Margaret Murphy O’Mahony also lost out.

The Seanad election last week saw fewer than 30% of the seats being filled by women.

Speaking to Newstalk FM, O’Connell said she has seen some resistance from some members of the party when female candidates progress.

She added: “There was a massive push-back from certain sectors…. I am speaking about my own party because that is what I have knowledge of.

“When there is progress from women there is push-back from some elements from the party – usually the Young Fine Gael wing.”

O’Connell said gender quotas are not working and have not helped to get female candidates in Fine Gael elected as TDs or Senators.

Political parties lose funding if less than 30% of their general election candidates are women.

She said: “As a party, we have to look at why the measures we have put in and why the investment and training we have put in has not yielded additional female parliamentarians.

“The problem is the net result is not more women.”

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