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More must be done to promote women in politics – Ruane

9 March, 2015 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has said the role of women in politics must be promoted by everyone in public life. 

Speaking following a debate in the Assembly on a 'Women in Politics' report, the South Down MLA said; 

"This is a very important report, which Sinn Féin requested from the Assembly Executive Review Committee. 

"I welcome its recommendations and call on all parties in the Assembly to adopt and implement them. It would be a tragedy if this report is allowed to gather dust. 

"In particular I welcome its recommendation that women in positions of leadership and political power should be supported and that there should be zero tolerance of those who seek to undermine them. 

"It also recommends the introduction of measures to ensure gender equality and I believe we need quotas and the example from other countries clearly shows that they work in increasing the number of women in politics. 

"Political parties also need to be made aware of the necessity of promoting women and perhaps we should be exploring the possibility of financial penalties for parties who do not comply as has happened in the south. 

"Sinn Féin is fully committed to gender equality and the promotion of women in politics. However, all parties, including my own, can learn lessons from this report in the further promotion of women. 

"At the current rate of change it would take 250 years to bring about 50/50 representation. So now is the time to act and for all parties to actively support and promote gender equality."

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