Family-Friendly And Inclusive Parliament Report Welcomed
Women for Election has welcomed the many comprehensive recommendations in the report presented to Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, from the Forum on a Family-Friendly and Inclusive Parliament. The Ceann Comhairle established this forum earlier in the year to explore ways to make the Houses of the Oireachtas a more family-friendly and inclusive space, and Women for Election was represented on the Forum by Chairperson Alison Cowzer.
The forum has made 51 recommendations and has prioritised the following areas:
-A Referendum to amend Article 15 of the Constitution to permit proxy voting and remote participation in some Dáil and Seanad business, as this would allow Members to take an equivalent to maternity, paternity and sick leave.
-A review of long and unpredictable work hours.
-Greater diversity on committees and the monitoring of this.
-Measures to protect Members and their staff from violence and harassment in real life and online.
Alison Cowzer, Chairperson of Women for Election said:
‘Our hope that the implementation of the recommendations will happen as a matter of urgency to help encourage more women to enter and succeed in politics. Currently, only 24% of the Dáil members are women, and Ireland ranks 101st in the world for Gender balance in politics.
At Women for Election, we see this report as a crucial step forward towards dismantling the barriers that exist for women in politics. It is particularly encouraging to see a recommendation around formalising a pairing system to allow politicians to take Maternity leave, as the lack of maternity leave can act as a major deterrent for women seeking to enter into politics.
We thank the Ceann Comhairle for his work in establishing this forum and championing family-friendly and more inclusive practices. We were delighted that many of our recommendations have been taken on board and we look forward to working with policy makers going forward to ensure the full implementation of the report.’
Link to the whole report here.