EQUALITY MINISTER KATHLEEN Lynch’s attempts to redress the gender imbalance in Irish politics has had some favourable coverage in the New York Times today.
The so-called ‘newspaper of record’ has published an article entitled ‘Remixing Ireland’s Gender Balance’ quoting Lynch extensively and describing her as “a mother of four and grandmother of four with brilliant blue eyes and dark red hair”.
The reference to the Cork North Central TD’s hair colour is reminiscent of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s much criticised remarks about Lynch at the conference she recently organised, ‘How to Elect More Women?’.
“Believe you me, as I said to her many years ago: what they said about the flaming red hair speaks appropriately for her fight from Cork and the responsibility she has,” he told an audience at Dublin Castle last month. Kenny was later criticised by political commentator Olivia O’Leary.
That aside, the article asks would the country’s economic implosion have been avoided if there were more women in the Oireachtas. It also reports on the planned introduction of gender quota legislation which would require all political parties to ensure 30 per cent of their candidates are women.
“In terms of how you break the stranglehold that men have on political parties, we’ve tried it in every other way,” Lynch tells the paper.
“It’s not that people don’t accept that we have talented women it’s just that making them welcome in the political sphere in terms of party politics is very important. Very important,” she adds.
The Minister could not be reached for comment about the article today.