Leaders quizzed on women’s equality
by Mehak Dugal

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) recently launched its feminist manifesto for Ireland, as part of an effort to make women’s equality a key feature the election. Party leaders were invited to answer four questions, and there were some interesting results.

Every partly leader thinks of themselves as a feminist, and collectively they outlined achievements for women’s equality including their work to repeal the eighth amendment, extend paternity leave, and hit representation quotas for women candidates in the election.

But they diverged when asked how they would achieve equality if in power after 8th February.

Fianna Fáil and the Greens focussed on gender quotas, while Fine Gael and Labour emphasised gender pay legislation and gender pay gap reporting respectively.

The Social Democrats, Labour and Fianna Fáil all agreed on the need for an improved childcare system, while Sinn Féin focussed solely on the elimination of domestic violence.

A clear divide on the way to achieve equality also emerged when the parties were asked to commit to a gender-balanced cabinet.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Social Democrats spoke of their absolute commitment to a gender-balanced cabinet, while Labour, Sinn Féin and the Green Party emphasised the importance of electing people who are committed to equality and women’s progression, regardless of their gender.

Read the full responses of the party leaders HERE.

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