Leo Varadkar wants to see 50% female TDs in Cabinet

He has been criticised for naming only seven women among appointees

Leo Varadkar wants to see 50% female TDs in Cabinet

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald along with the new Cabinet as they sit down in Aras An Uachtarain for their first Cabinet meeting | Image: Aras An Uachtarain/Rollingnews.ie

The Taoiseach Leo Vardakar says he would include more women in his Cabinet, if there were more women in the Dáil.

Mr Varadkar says the number of women holding ministerial office is in line with the number of women available to choose from.

He has been criticised for naming only seven women among the 34 appointees he has chosen since becoming Taoiseach.

But he says he is limited in who he can choose.

"In other countries you can appoint people from outside parliament, that's not the case in Ireland - it certainly hasn't been the tradition.

"We have 12 female TDs supporting the Government, seven of those are ministers.

"And the way we can improve that in the future is by having many more women elected to the Dáil, and that's what I want to see happen."

"About 20% of our TDs are women, and as a result about 20% of our ministers are women.

"What I'd like to see is 30, 40 or even 50% of our TDs being women - and that would then give me in the future, or future Taoisigh, a bigger group of people to select from.

"As a party certainly, Fine Gael already has more female TDs than any other party - and we're going to build on that".

His comments come as figures show four political parties put no money toward promoting women in the last general election.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) say the AAA/PBP, the Green Party, Renua and the Social Democrats put 'NIL' funding towards 'Participation by Women'.

In the same category, Fianna Fáil spent €44,971, Fine Gael spent €75,195, the Labour Party spent €14,678, and Sinn Féin put €40,703 towards promoting women in the election.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann