Gender Quotas Database

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Ireland (Ireland)

Ireland (Ireland) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house. 35 of 158 (22%) seats in the Dáil Éireann / House of Representatives are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Upper House? No
  • For the Sub-National Level? No

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Apr 16, 2019

Single/Lower House

Dáil Éireann / House of Representatives

Total seats 158
Total Women 35
% Women 22%
Election Year 2016
Electoral System STV
Quota Type Legislated Candidate Quotas
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas Constitution  
Electoral law According to the Section on State Funding of Political Parties and Gender Balance of the Electoral Act 1997, as amended in 2012, political parties will lose 50% of their state funding ‘unless at least 30 per cent of the candidates whose candidatures were authenticated by the qualified party at the preceding general election were women and at least 30 per cent were men’. The required gender quota of candidates is to rise to at least 40% women and at least 40% men within 7 years from the date of the first election held in line with this new rule, and the penalty will apply during those 7 years.
Political funding legislation

According to the Electoral Act 1997, section 17, as amended by the Electoral (Political Funding) Act 2012, section 42, which is referred to the political funding and amends the section 17 of the act of 1997, the political parties, in the coming after the implementation of the law national elections, will lose 50 per cent (50%) of their state funding, unless at least 30 per cent (30%) of their candidates are women and at least 30 per cent (30%) are men. After a period of 7 years the political parties should have a forty per cent (40%) gender quota in their candidate lists in order receive a full state funding.

Legal sanctions for non-compliance Electoral law Political parties will lose 50% of their state funding, ‘unless at least 30 per cent of the candidates whose candidatures were authenticated by the qualified party at the preceding general election were women and at least 30 per cent were men’ (electoral act 1997, as amended in 2012, Section on State funding of Political Parties and Gender Balance, article. 42 (c)).
Rank order/placement rules Electoral law

None

Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? Yes

if parties fail to respect legislative quotas they lose half of the State funding they receive annually. the law foresees an increasing in the legislative quota from 30 per cento to 40 per cent for elections to be held in 2020


See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? Yes, funds earmarked for gender activities  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Additional Information

Following several years of active lobbying by gender equality and women’s rights advocates, the amendment to the Elections Act’s Section on State Funding of Political Parties and Gender Balance was approved by the legislature in 2012. Following its adoption, groups promoting gender balance in public offices have called for this regulation to be extended to cover the sub-national elections to be held in 2014.

Sources

LEGAL SOURCES:

Additional reading

  • Galligan, Yvonne. 1998. Women and Politics in Contemporary Ireland: From the Margins to the Mainstream. Pinter.
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1997. Democracy Still in the Making: A World Comparative Study. Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union.
  • Irish Parliament website, http://www.oireachtas.ie/

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