International Women's Day

‘As women we don’t need to wait for better institutions to be gifted to us - we can demand change, and then shape it’

For International Women’s Day, we asked leading women to open their playbooks for success. Here, TD and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald offers wisdom for ambitious women

“Abuse of women in public life is as old as the hills. Its intent is to try to keep us out of decision-making. That has always been the purpose of misogyny,” TD and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Politics is tough but enormously rewarding. I’m an activist first and foremost. From a young age it was my ambition to be a force for positive change. My advice to women of any age considering a role in politics is to get active on the issues that matter to you and link in with like-minded people inside and outside the political fray.

Frederick Douglass once wrote that power concedes nothing without a demand. We need ...