Labour Blog

Happy International Womens Day

Posted on March 07, 2008 at 03:17 PM

International Womens Day

International Womens' Day (tomorrow, Saturday, March 8th) marks the day when women around the world take stock. How are women doing? Have we made any progress?

When the Irish women are asked if they are making any progress in the world of politics, they don't have to think very hard : they have not.

Since the General Election 2007 the number of women TDs has remained static. We are stuck at 13 per cent women TDs. Women's under-representation matters.

Better and more balanced policies, women's perspective and life experience, skills and ideas all make politics more inclusive and better informed. Politics needs more women.

Unusually in Irish politics Labour has actively supported women. Therefore it is not a surprise that we have been rewarded with some mighty women.

Our women hold senior positions, but have lost none of their connection with what women's life is like. The Irish woman has come a long way.

Still the Mammy, but now clutching her mobile as she walks into the meeting. Still laughing with her friends, but now assertive in what she will put up with. Still putting her feet up with a cup of tea, but now thinking about her future which she herself will shape.

Deputy Eamon Gilmore with
Senator Phil Prendergast and Deputy Kathleen Lynch

On the International Womens' Day we salute our women. We salute our women who have made into the hustle and bustle of politics. We also invite women to join us, and walk with us to make sure that today's girls will grow up to be women in politics.

Yesterday we launched a poster and postcard campaign which depicts how things could be. Would this be acceptable and a fair representation of society? You can see more photographs from the launch on our Flickr account and read the corresponding press statement in our media centre. You can also read about the history of International Womens Day in the post we wrote last year in our blog archive.

EDIT: (to include information on Dublin City Council's "Every Step of the Way - Women Accessing Power in Dublin City")

On Friday evening Cllr Emer Costello, who is the chairperson of Dublin City Council's International Womens' Day Working Group, launched the group's research report "Every Step of the Way - Women Accessing Power in Dublin City".

Among the report's findings were:

  • Women comprise 29 per cent of the councillors on Dublin City Council.
  • Women are not represented on the important Corporate Policy Group
  • Women account for just 31 per cent of the membership of Strategic Policy Committees
  • Women make up just 29 per cent of the professional graeds in Dublin City Council
  • Women account for just 12 per cent of General Operative staff and just three per cent of the Fire Brigade

Speaking about the findings of the report Cllr Costello said: "The Government must take positive action to ensure that more women are in a position to stand for election. I am also looking for Dublin City Council to establish the International Womens' Day Working Group on a permanent footing to oversee and monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the report."

You can read the report on Dublin City Council's website.

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