What effect will the current political crisis have?
It’s been a tumultuous few weeks in Northern Ireland’s political arena. The extra-marital affair and allegations of irregular business dealings of Iris Robinson have forced her husband Peter to step aside from his position as First Minister. But the appointment of Arlene Foster to the interim post has led some to wonder whether Iris’ disgrace may ironically end up being a turning point for women in politics. It’s the first time that a woman has been given such a prominent position in Northern Ireland, where women are substantially underrepresented in the political process. Jane discusses the barriers to women in politics with Yvonne Galligan, Professor of Comparative Politics at Queen’s University, and Susan McKay, journalist and Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland.