Labour Senators commit to advancing equality
29 June 2020
Seanad Group Leader and Spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration
Leader of the Labour Seanad Group, Senator Ivana Bacik will today join her Labour colleagues in taking their seats for the first session of the incoming Seanad.
Speaking before the Seanad sitting, Senator Bacik said:
“Today, the Seanad sits for the first time in the Convention Centre, almost three months since the Seanad elections took place. I look forward to offering constructive opposition in the coming years, alongside my Labour colleagues, Senator Annie Hoey, Senator Rebecca Moynihan, Senator Marie Sherlock and Senator Mark Wall, as well as our six TDs in the Dáil.
“This is an historic day for Seanad Éireann in what has been a truly historic year for Ireland. With women making up nine of the eleven senators appointed by an Taoiseach Micheál Martin over the weekend, 40 per cent of the Seanad is now composed of women. This places Ireland 12th of 79 bicameral parliaments in the world for women’s representation in the upper house. For the Labour Party, women make up 80% (4 out of 5) in our Seanad group.
“While this is a watershed moment for gender equality in Irish politics, it is not cause for complacency. The Seanad figure is not reflected in the abysmal gender breakdown of Dáil Éireann, where only 36 of 160 deputies are women.
“Evidently, we have a long way to go to ensure that the makeup of the Oireachtas more closely resembles the diverse makeup of our society.
“Diversity in politics is inadequate without campaigns and legislation to address inequalities in society too. The damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities for the most vulnerable in the State.
“There is no doubt that this country will face immense challenges in recovering from this pandemic. Labour senators will play their part in aiding the recovery and in helping to address inequalities through our work in the Seanad over the coming term.”