The Mayor of the County of Cork councillor Mary Linehan Foley has encouraged more women to get involved in politics following a report published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealing that women held just under a quarter of seats in the 2019 local elections.
The CSO on Tuesday published 'Ireland's UN SDGs 2019 - Report on Indicators for Goal 5 Gender Equality'.
This report is the fifth in a series of CSO publications which will monitor how Ireland is progressing towards meeting its targets under the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Commenting following its publication, the County Mayor said the report points to "a sizeable gender imbalance" in "many facets of Irish life".
"Not least in politics, where women held just under a quarter (23.8%) of seats in the 2019 local elections.
"In recent years, we have seen considerable improvements across the board, but have yet not fully reached the 2019 target of a 30% proportion of women candidates.
"Central to the goal of building and maintaining a sustainable democracy is having the active participation of women and representation of all groups across the board, whether in politics, business or education.
"This is not just a number to be achieved, it’s a standard to reach and uphold, to properly reflect the needs of our society," she said.
"I have recently participated in an awareness campaign with Cork County Council, due to launch shortly, that highlights the importance of diversity in local government.
"There are so many opportunities for women, and minorities of all backgrounds, to get involved in political life, and as a county, we have a wealth of education, ideas, and energy that needs to be harnessed for the betterment of all our communities," she continued.
The report also stated that there were nearly double the number of men in managerial roles (65.6%) as women (34.4%) in the Irish workforce in the second quarter of 2020, despite the fact women make up over 45% of the workforce.