Martina Fitzgerald Gill Books, €19.99
the nomination and not Noel Browne.”
Mary Mcaleese exposes utterly rude and disrespectful comments by Pope John Paul II to the office of President of Ireland. There is only one woman, with multiple family involvement in politics who has no desire for gender quota; Mary O’rourke is totally against it. Needless to say, we know that merit counts but so does gender.
The current leader of Fianna Fail is an example of how the party is changing, and it would be beneficial if they prioritised gender quotas. Mary Hanafin says that Fianna Fail remains ‘very male’, that the party is ‘not respectful enough of women’ and has ‘no supportive mechanism for women at all’.
Hanafin was one of three women in cabinet in 2004 and did not believe there was a particular camaraderie, “I don’t think there was collegiality between the women”.
Joan Burton argues that women have to be “quite resilient and pushy enough” to show that they are not “some kind of add-on or decoration”. Mary Mitchell O’connor describes political life as “laddy. The behaviour is macho. It’s aggressive. It’s very off-putting... women are able to do business in a quiet way. That’s their modus operandi”.
Frances Fitzgerald describes the atmosphere in the Dail chamber when she was first elected as “so gladiatorial and so hierarchical”.
As you can tell, the ‘macho culture’ dominated up to recently, though Bertie Ahern is described by Mary O’rourke as “full of equality. He didn’t realise it, but he was”.
Many women were pregnant or breastfeeding while campaigning, and their voices affirm a resilience that women don’t realise they possess.
Whether you have no interest in politics or are fully engaged, this is an essential read. The book gives an insight into the route women take to gain votes and get what they want.