An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar announces in a tweet that the government is setting up new Citizen’s Assembly on gender equality, saying that equality for women is moving to slow. Mr. Varadkar set the lofty ambitions high aiming to make ‘Ireland the first country in the world in which men and women are truly equal’. The citizen’s assembly will ‘start in October and will have 6 months to complete its work’. Mr. Varadkar notes in his twitter tread that ‘Women are still paid less than men, many find it harder to reach the top of their professions & there is still a very unequal share of the burden of care among men & women’.
Recently I wrote a blog after I read an article about the slow progress in closing the gender equality act, should have know it was building up to something. While it is welcomed news, it rings hollow. Like all things from Ireland’s current government, it’s all style, no substance. If Fine Gael really wanted to be seen as the progressive party, that is the narrative it seems to be pushing, why don’t they start within their own party? Why not be like Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau and introduce the first parity cabinet. Canada was the first in the world, why not be the first in Europe? That would be a political faux pas of epic proportions, certainly the front bench Politian’s would be outraged being pushed to the back benches, for the appearance of progression?
Therein lays the problem, if you can’t do it in your own party how can you push this nationwide? You couldn’t, these are empty words, much like the empty promises of solving the healthcare system, and the waiting lists the housing crises etc…Like the climate emergency that was declared, the Citizen’s Assembly on gender equality, is just a gesture