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IRISH WOMEN MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Ireland has twelve seats in the 736-member European Parliament. Of these three or 25% are women. Irish MEPs are elected from four multi-member constituencies, by the same STV system used for the Dáil. The last European Parliamentary elections took place in 2009, and saw a drop of Irish women MEPs from 5 to 3 from the 2004 elections. At the 2004 elections Ireland had a higher than average number of MEPs in the EU, but with the 2009 election this has fallen to having one of the lowest levels of female representation, and below the 'minimum threshold' set by the EU. Only Poland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Malta have a lower percentage of female representation. With the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, the next election will see an increase in the overall number of seats and a slightly different allocation, both of which scenarios would slightly decrease Ireland's number of allocated seats.

Table 1: Current Irish women MEPs (as at 25 October 2010)

Name

Party

Constituency

Dates

Nessa Childers

Labour

East

2009

Mairead McGuinness

Fine Gael

East

2004

Marian Harkin

Independent

North West

2004

Table 2: Irish European election results by gender and party, 2009

Party

Women

Men

% Women

Fianna Fáil

0

3

0

Fine Gael

1

3

25

Labour

1

2

33

Socialist Party

1

0

100

Independent

0

1

0

Total

3

9

25


Table 3: Irish European election results by gender and party, 2004

Party

Women

Men

% Women

Fianna Fáil
0
4
0
Fine Gael
2
3
40
Labour
0
1
0
Sinn Fein
1
0
100
Independent
2
0
100
TOTAL
5
8
38


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