The Government's being urged to end single-sex schools within the next 15 years.
Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says co-ed schooling is already 'de facto' policy, and his party now wants a timeline put in place to phase out single-sex schooling entirely.
Labour is publishing a bill this week which aims to bring an end to gender discrimination in school admission.
It says the current system is "outdated" and that eliminating single-sex schools would promote consent and tackle toxic masculinity.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said education is one area that hasn't been tackled when it comes to achieving gender equality.
He said: “The Department of Education hasn’t given sanction or recognition to a new single-sex school since 1998.
"So it’s de facto Department policy for all schools to be co-educational - obviously, we have a legacy issue.”
'It won't be an easy transition'
The Labour TD suggested Ireland is an outlier internationally, noting that few countries outside the Arab world have as many students in single-sex schools.
As a result, he believes many single-sex schools should either amalgamate or start accepting in both genders.
He said: “We appreciate this is a conversation school communities are going to have to have. It won’t be an easy transition.
“Our proposal is that over ten years every primary school should be co-educational, and within 15 years that should happen at second-level.
"We appreciate the second-level conversation is more complex… but that’s what we’re trying to achieve in this bill.”
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said some of the claims around single-sex schools - such as that girls perform better academically in such schools - don't stand up to modern scrutiny.
He said: “What we’re trying to do is to have both genders understand each other better.
"If we’re trying to tackle some of the issues in Irish society that affect women quite profoundly… we’re probably going to be more successful doing that in a multi-gendered society."
He added it's now time for Ireland to move towards a modern education system that is "more reflective of every other European country".