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Who is your feminist Taoiseach?

Published: Sunday, January 26, 2020

As part of our #FemGen general election campaign, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has asked party leaders from the main political parties to answer four key questions outlining their commitment to women’s equality.

The responses of Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael, Micheal Martin, Fianna Fail, Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein, Eamon Ryan, Green Party, Brendan Howlin, Labour Party and Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall, Social Democrats are published today in the Sunday Independent, on independent.ie on nwci.ie/learn/blog. In addition, NWCI has included a short response from Bríd Smith, People Before Profit on its website.

Each party leader answered the following questions:

Do you consider yourself a feminist?
What has been your biggest achievement for women’s equality to date?
What is the most important change that you want to achieve for women’s equality if elected as Taoiseach? 
Will you commit to having a gender balanced cabinet?

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“The general election campaign has brought some of the most pressing issues for the electorate to the fore, including housing, health, pensions, childcare, violence and the climate emergency. Any leader from any political party who is serious about solving these issues will need to understand the significant and specific impact these issues have on women’s lives.”

She continued,

“We thank the party leaders for taking part in this initiative and welcome the commitment by all to women’s equality as outlined in their responses. We want to see a Taoiseach and all party leaders to be ambitious for the change required to achieve equality for women in Ireland and also the pace of change, which is still unacceptably slow.

Achieving women’s equality will require a commitment to invest significant resources in our public services and infrastructure, new legislation and new policies. For parties where women are still greatly underrepresented, it means having a clear strategy on how to ensure more women are running and candidates reflect the full diversity of the people living in Ireland.”

NWCI has published its Feminist Ireland manifesto which outlines 10 key asks for women’s equality. 100 candidates across 35 constituencies have so far signed the manifesto.



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