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Editorial: Women let down by new cabinet

THE failure to promote more women to senior Cabinet positions is a lost opportunity in the new government.

It is wrong that in 2011 only two women have made it to the top table. And they have not been given what are considered the big-hitter jobs, but rather the more "caring" portfolios of social protection and children.

It's a backward step, and a poor message to be sending out at a time when we know women are vastly under-represented in politics.

The passing over of Joan Burton for one of the big financial portfolios is particularly baffling. This is a woman who was hugely impressive as Labour's finance spokesperson and who consistently called it right on the unfolding bank crisis.

For those who did get a seat at Cabinet, we wish them well because the real work begins today.