As Irishmen prepare to vote for the first time in their lives, I ask myself whether they will be voting for someone who is not an Irishwoman.
The answer is, I don’t know, but I would certainly not vote for a woman.
The issue of equality is a matter of great concern in this country, but the issue of female representation in politics is also a matter for discussion.
I know that in a number of ways, the gender gap in politics in Ireland is large.
In the 2013 general election, it was the first Irish election since 2011 when the women’s vote was not even a significant part of the total.
And as a recent poll found, women now make up just 7 per cent of parliamentarians.
There are, of course, issues that go beyond gender and the gender disparity in the political arena.
But what I find interesting is that the number of women in politics and the amount of women who hold elected office is much smaller in Ireland than the number who hold public office.
This is true of politicians, not to mention the general public.
However, the gap between women and men is far larger than it is in the rest of the OECD countries.
As the OECD has demonstrated, women account for roughly 70 per cent or more of the workforce, compared to 65 per cent for men.
Similarly, women are far more likely to be employed than men, and the proportion of women on university campuses is far lower than that of men.
There are other factors as well.
Among those with tertiary education, women make up over a third of those employed, compared with roughly half of those without.
Women are also more likely than men to be full-time students, and, at the same time, they are more likely at the top to hold positions of power and responsibility.
It is not surprising that women are not the only groups with lower rates of employment.
For example, only 12 per cent, or just over one in five, of people aged 25-54 held a job in 2013, compared the OECD average of 15 per cent.
Of the working age population, nearly one in four is currently employed, and more than one in three is unemployed.
On average, women earn 60 per cent more than men on average.
While we are not at the bottom of the economic ladder, we are at the very bottom of all the OECD nations.
And this is a fact that, I would argue, should not be taken lightly.
We can all be proud of our country, and we should not turn our backs on our fellow citizens who are struggling in this economic climate.
So, should Irish women be more vocal about their concerns and to make sure that our voices are heard?
When it comes to political representation, it is time for the government to take action.
Yet, it may not be in their best interest.
Despite this, I have to believe that Irishwomen have an opportunity to make a difference in their country.
They are the ones who are already struggling in their communities and they are the people who are going to be most affected by this change.
All of this will be a long time coming.
Until then, I hope that women will be as vocal and as engaged in politics as men.
I have written a blog post for The Irish News that discusses the issues around women in Ireland, the role of women and their voices in politics, and what we can do about it.
This article first appeared in The Irish Daily Mail, The Irish Times, and The Sunday Times.