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Freelance journalist currently based in Berlin, chronicling the effects of populism on elections in Europe. Former Washington-based political reporter for CBS News, Politico and National Journal.
What role will women play in the upcoming European elections — and how has their position in EU politics changed over time? That's the focus of this new podcast series from Politico Europe — and its second episode turns to Ireland, an interesting backdrop for exploring the issue.
Just one in five elected officials in Ireland's lower house of parliament is a woman, despite a newly implemented gender quota rule, and women still face visible and invisible barriers to running for and winning office. But with the country's vote last year legalizing abortion, Ireland ushered in a new generation of politically active young women — and some feel the tide is starting to turn for women in Irish politics.
Mairead McGuinness, a vice president of the European parliament from Ireland, told Politico that "it came as a great shock to me" to see how male-dominated the political and journalism spheres were. She said that as a politician, you have to let some things roll off your back — but that showing up is important, and that she shares her experiences with younger women considering a life in politics.
Beyond the sphere of women in politics, McGuinness and other guests on the podcast discuss the big issues of the day: first and foremost, Brexit. And asked if there will be any surprises in the EU elections, McGuinness replied: "There's always surprises in elections."