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NWC welcomes report on a Family-Friendly and Inclusive Parliament

Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Responding to the publication of the report from the Forum on a Family-Friendly and Inclusive Parliament presented to the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD today, the National Women’s Council (NWC) welcomed the report as a significant contribution to creating a family friendly Leinster House and increasing the political participation of women.

Emma DeSouza, Women in Leadership Coordinator, NWC said,

“Having taken part in the consultation, we are delighted to see many of NWC’s recommendations reflected in this report, including arrangements for proxy voting, greater flexible and remote working arrangements and recommendations to address the combative culture in Leinster House.

We particularly welcome the acknowledgement for the need for a joined-up approach across Departments and with political parties in achieving meaningful change.

The wide ranging recommendations of the report which call for broad and systemic change highlight the continued marginalisation of women in the current parliament, with a number of current Oireachtas committees having no women members and the perpetuation of exclusionary practices.”

She continued,

“NWC also welcomes the Forum’s acknowledgement of threats of political violence and harassment. This is an increasing issue for women’s political participation and one which NWC is currently highlighting as part of our #StopOnlineAbuse campaign.

 The Forum makes a number of important recommendations on addressing this barrier, identifying key stakeholders such as social media companies and political parties. NWC believes all stakeholders must be engaged in order to comprehensively tackle what is a growing threat to democracy. In order to achieve gender balance, we need more women at the table, and a parliament that is representative of Irish society. No-one should face threats to their safety and well-being in carrying their duties as a public representative.”

She concluded,

 “It is notable that whilst outside the remit of the Forum, it has included support for the extension of gender quota legislation to local elections, a key recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly. Over 80% of women TDs have served as Local Councillors. Local government is a crucial springboard for women to serve at national level.  Expanding the candidate selection quotas to local elections will ensure both, a local government reflective of the communities it serves and a greater diversity of candidates coming through at national level.”  


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications and Membership, NWC, Tel. 085 858 9104.