Speedy action is now needed to ensure the Oireachtas Special Committee on Gender Equality is up and running before the end of the year, a Fine Gael TD has said.
A motion on the establishment of an Oireachtas Special Committee on Gender Equality came before the Dáil this afternoon, as a result of Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill’s proposal to establish the committee last July.
Deputy Carroll MacNeill said, “The need for this committee is clear as day. Women cannot wait any longer for equality. That’s equality at home, in work, in their pay and in their representation in the Oireachtas.
“It is fitting that the day after Equal Pay Day, the day from which women effectively work for free for the rest of the year having regard to the 14.4% gender pay gap, the Dáil has agreed now to establish this special and dedicated Oireachtas Committee to advance the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on gender equality.
“As an indicator of the clear political will for improving gender equality, we must now expedite progress on the establishment of the Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality to have it up and running by the end of the year.
“What we really want is to see tangible improvements for the women of Ireland in every facet of work, home, arts, culture, sport and education. Politics reflects that cultural position, and of course it is the essence of the representation of women in decision making positions.
“We’ve been talking about ‘women in politics’ for years and it’s now high time to send out a strong message that a woman’s place is absolutely in Leinster House. Today only 22.5% of TDs are women, painting a very stark picture of the Oireachtas in terms of gender equality.
“We need to see the Committee functioning before Christmas to move these recommendations on with haste. It’s time to get on with it now, please and thank you.”
The Fine Gael Women’s Network has been active on this issue for months; the group submitted a motion at this year’s Fine Gael Ard Fheis calling for a clear timetable for the review and implementation of the Citizens’ Assembly recommendations, as well as for the establishment of a dedicated Oireachtas Committee as an important first step.
Speaking today, members of the Network said, “We’re delighted to see further progress today on the establishment of a Committee to ensure recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality are implemented.
“Equality, and equality of opportunity is at the core of Fine Gael principles, and we urge the Oireachtas to maintain the momentum on establishing this Committee. Women can’t wait.”