The Taoiseach has committed to providing maternity leave and paternity leave for politicians.
Currently, TDs, senators and councillors are not entitled to access to maternity leave - something described as a "glaringly obvious barrier" to getting more women into politics.
Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns said many people don't realise there's no provision for maternity leave for TDs.
She told the Dáil: "In 2017, a Bill was introduced to provide paid maternity leave for city and county councillors, which, incredibly, does not already exist. This Bill has since lapsed.
"When I tell people this, they do not believe me. Maternity leave is not a perk or a pay rise but a human right."
She said it's an "absolute disgrace" that there are only 36 female TDs compared to 124 men.
Deputy Cairns said there was a need to ask whether there would be more women at the "decision-making table" if maternity leave was provided.
She noted: "We cannot scratch our heads after every election and wonder again why we have not achieved greater equality when there is this glaringly obvious barrier for women."
Responding to the Social Democrats TD, Micheál Martin said: "Maternity and paternity leave should be provided as it is in other jurisdictions.
"Politics should not be an exemption in that regard so I will follow that up and keep in touch with Deputy Cairns on it."