For any democracy to function properly it must surely represent the totality of its people, right?

So why, in 2011, when the 31st Dáil was convened, were only 16% of the representatives female?

Here is another sobering statistic. In the history of the State, a total of 1,242 people have been elected as TDs. How many have been women? A mere 95!

And sorry to depress you further, but as of 2015, Ireland ranks 89th in the world index for female representation in parliament.

That is behind Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates. So it would appear, Ireland has some way to go.

How do we get to a more representative Dáil? That is the subject of this podcast, hosted by Keelin Shanley.

Keelin is joined by Suzanne Collins, from an organisation called Women for Election, which aims to empower women from all political backgrounds who choose to run for election.

Sharing her own personal experience is former Fine Gael TD Olwyn Enright, who served in Dáil Éireann between 2002 and 2011 representing the Laois-Offaly constituency.

If you would like more information on women's participation in Irish politics, see the Women for Election website.