Today, on International Women’s Day (8 March), Chambers Ireland welcomes the announcements from Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan that Government intends to take additional actions on increasing visibility of women on state boards and the advancement of women’s equality through the National Strategy for Women and Girls. However, Chambers Ireland urges Government to take a business-friendly approach in its proposals for Gender Pay Gap legislation.
Speaking this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot calls on the Minister for Justice and Equality to ensure that the proposed legislation is diagnostic in its objective and administratively easy to use for business.
“Chambers Ireland has been at the fore in calling on Government to introduce measures that will narrow the gender pay gap. Amongst our recommendations to Government, we have called for sustained investment in affordable childcare provision.
It is our view that one of the primary causes of the gender pay gap in Ireland is the high cost of childcare. It is well established that the high cost of childcare contributes to lower female market participation and a greater likelihood of part-time working. Having a greater understanding of the nature and causes of the gender pay gap will be crucial if we intend to narrow this gap. This legislation has the potential to be a valuable diagnostic tool in understanding the reasons why pay disparity exists.
However, we caution Government on its approach in developing this tool. It is essential that this legislation introduces a reporting mechanism that is administratively easy to use for businesses. We also are of the view that introducing additional complex administration to businesses as small as fifty would be counterproductive, particularly in an era where SMEs are already facing rising costs and more difficult trading environments.
We call on Government to re-think this aspect of the legislation and focus on larger companies.
In line with any new reporting mechanism on the gender pay gap, we urge Government to ensure that it continues to invest in making childcare more affordable for working parents. Without sustained investment in the structural causes of lower female market participation, reporting on gender pay gaps will not address gender pay gaps.”
- ENDS -
For further information please contact Gabriel Doran, Communications & Public Affairs Executive on 01 400 4331, 086 608 1605 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgChambers Ireland Urges Caution in Gender Pay Reporting Legislation
We had an amazing day for our WIBA International Women's Day Lunch.
A big thank you to the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan and all of our sponsors. Check out the event highlight video below. Looking forward to see you all again next year.
Women on State Boards
A State Board is a body controlled by the State to which the State appoints the majority of members or otherwise exercises control.
Following the publication of the second Report on the Status of Women in 1992, the then Government committed to take steps to increase the representation of women on state boards, as a step to bring women into more prominent roles in decision-making. The then Government was committed to achieving a minimum of 40 per cent representation of women on State Boards in order to foster an increase in women's participation in decision making, a commitment which has been reiterated in the current Programme for National Recovery.
There was some progress but, in a renewed effort to achieve the target in July 2002, all Ministers agreed to review the gender balance composition of the State Boards and committees under the aegis of their Department and to take measures to redress gender imbalances where the 40 per cent target has not been reached. It was further agreed that the then Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform would monitor the statistics and report on progress to Government annually.
In January 2005, the Government further decided all nominating Bodies should be required to nominate both male and female candidates for those appointments to State Boards where they are the responsible authority.
In December 2007, Ministers agreed to continue to take proactive steps to ensure that their nominations, and the nominations made by external Bodies, to Boards under the aegis of their Departments, continue to reflect the Government’s commitment to achieve representation of at least 40 per cent by persons of each gender on State Boards, in order to advance the goal of equal participation of women and men in decision-making. All Ministers were requested to put in place the necessary procedures to implement the Government decisions. Progress on this issue is reported to Government regularly.
In December 2009, Ministers reaffirmed the commitment to increase female participation in decision making towards the internationally recommended norm of 40 per cent. All Ministers agreed to take proactive measures in Departments to work to achieve that target for female participation on State Boards.
In March 2011 the incoming Government in its’ ‘Programme for the Government of National Recovery’ announced that it would also take steps to ensure that all State boards have at least 40% of each gender. In a further development, the Government took the decision to publish details of vacancies on these boards and to invite applications. However Ministers are not obliged to make the selection from those who apply. These vacancies are frequently advertised on Departmental websites and on www.publicjobs.ie.
The most recent Government decision taken in July 2014
Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, New Communities and Culture Mr. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D., has received the approval of the Government to take new measures to promote gender equality on State Boards.
A target of achieving a minimum of 40 per cent representation of both women and men on all State Boards was set originally in 1993. At 36.2 per cent overall, the 2013 data for female representation on State Boards show a very positive step forward over previous years which had been averaged at 34 per cent. However, a number of Departments fall below this average and there remains significant under-representation of both sexes on certain Boards.
The Government has therefore approved new measures to promote gender balance on State Boards, reaffirming its commitment to achieve the target of 40 per cent representation of each gender on all State Boards within the lifetime of the current Programme for Government.
Minister of State Ó Ríordáin welcomed progress reflected in the 2013 figures and the arrangements now being put in place commenting that
“Meeting the 40% target by 2016 is a specific commitment of this Government and we are now requiring each Government Department to plan how it intends to achieve this. These new measures will be accompanied by closer monitoring, with each Government Department to report on a six-monthly basis on their progress”.
Addressing the under-representation of women on State Boards, Minister Ó Ríordáin highlighted a new initiative to be developed in the Department of Justice and Equality to assist in the sourcing of suitably qualified female candidates for appointment to State Boards. Minister Ó Ríordáin said
“I am very pleased to announce that the Department will undertake a pilot project to develop a talent bank of women who would be prepared to serve on State Boards, as a resource to be made available to Ministers and other nominating bodies in meeting this target”.
The development of such a talent bank had been included as a recommendation in two reports associated with the implementation of the National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016. The Mid-Term Review of the National Women’s Strategy and Towards Gender Parity in Decision-Making in Ireland were prepared by the Monitoring Committee of the National Women’s Strategy chaired by the Minister of State formerly with responsibility for Equality, Ms. Kathleen Lynch, T.D.
The Minister believes that the implementation of these new measures will have a positive impact on gender-balance on State Boards and looks forward to working in close co-operation with his Ministerial colleagues to achieve this Programme for Government commitment.
The Talent Bank will be developed by the Department of Justice and Equality, with EU Progress funding and with the assistance of the Public Appointments Service (PAS) through its existing resource www.stateboards.ie.
The Public Appointments Service is the centralised provider of recruitment, assessment and selection services for the Civil Service. PAS also provides recruitment and consultancy services to local authorities, the Health Service Executive, an Garda Siochana and other public bodies.
Material supplied by government departments in respect of 2013 has been collated and is below. It should be noted that the number of boards varies from year to year. For example, 2013 data refers to a total 248 state boards, eight more than 2012.
The following are the key statistics in relation to membership of State Boards serving on 31 December, 2013:
Minister Josepha Madigan Launches Gender Equality Policies of Ten Irish Theatre Organisations. | Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
On the 9th July 2018 at The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD launched Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre.
The policy documents crafted to encompass the individual workings and requirements of ten theatre organisations were a result of one and half year’s work. Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre began after #WakingTheFeminists drew international attention to the gender inequality that then existed within Irish theatre. This cultural phenomenon encouraged the participating theatre organisations to consider their own record in programming and supporting women within the sector and identify processes that would ensure gender parity and dignity at work in the future.
The participating Theatre Organisations are:
Each gender policy statement has been ratified by the boards of the organisations and each organisation has undertaken to measure their progress against their published targets on an annual basis using the #WakingTheFeminists Gender Counts guidelines.
Included in the list of measures are the following
“I hope that these statements will build dialogue across the cultural sector and beyond. The theatre organisations here today are pioneering what I hope will be standard practice across the sector, and across society as a whole. I am delighted that my Department has supported such a worthwhile initiative and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this” Minister Madigan concluded.
Original Link - https://www.chg.gov.ie/minister-josepha-madigan-launches-gender-equality-policies-of-ten-irish-theatre-organisations/
What is Gender Equality?
Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including in economic participation and decision-making, and when the different behaviours, aims and needs of women and men are equally valued and favoured.
Gender Equality Division
Our work includes improving female representation at work, in politics, in public appointments and on company boards, tackling violence against women and girls, and engaging with women to strengthen their voice in government.
Please visit our website www.genderequality.ie where you will find more information about what we do.
Government policy on gender equality
Government policy in this area includes:
Address:Gender Equality Division
Department of Justice and Equality
2nd Floor, Bishop’s Square
Phone (main reception):+ 353 1 479-0200
Original Link - http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/WP15000117
NUI Galway researchers to disseminate findings from SMART Consent workshops held around the country and survey results from over 3,500 students
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, will today (7 August 2018) launcha research report on sexual consent among third level students carried out by the NUI Galway SMART Consent research team in collaboration with their partners at four other Universities in Ireland.
The report, ‘Are Consent Workshops Sustainable and Feasible in Third Level Institutions?’, includes surveys with over 3,500 students conducted at NUI Galway; consent workshops held at four colleges nationally with 761 students; and flags a new education and awareness campaign, Consent=OMFG (Ongoing, Mutual, Freely Given), which includes four short interactive films on consent.
The report authors will speak at the research launch after Minister Mitchell O’Connor. Dr Pádraig MacNeela, who leads the SMART Consent initiative, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and Kate Dawson, Child and Youth Research PhD candidate, all from the School of Psychology, alongside Dr Charlotte McIvor and students from the O’Donogue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance who will preview one of the Consent=OMFG consent films.
The report builds on a programme of research since 2013 that has explored the meaning of consent among college students, tested the effectiveness of the SMART Consent workshop, and surveyed students on sexual consent behaviours and attitudes (see www.nuigalway.ie/smartconsent).
The surveys included in the report shed light on important consent-related issues, including:
Sexual harassment: In a survey of 632 students nationally, 54% of First Year women students report experiencing sexual hostility or crude gender harassment at some point since starting college, rising to 64% among Second Year women students, and 70% of women students in Third Year or a subsequent year; the comparable figures for men are; 25%, 37%, and 40%.
Perceptions of sex education at school: In a survey of 2,150 students nationally, 71% of women and 63% of men said they were dissatisfied with the sexual health education they received at school (14% of women and 17% of men were neutral on this question; 15% of women and 20% of men were satisfied with their sexual health education at school).
More lesbian, gay, and bisexual students felt that their sexual health education at school did not cover the topics they are most interested in (75%), compared with heterosexual students (66%).
Perceptions of alcohol and capacity to give consent: In a survey, 753 students nationally read one of two versions of a consent story where both characters were drinking: 20% considered the female character too drunk to give consent in the story where she consumed 14 standard drinks, while 33% considered the female character too drunk in the version where she consumed 28 standard drinks. 14% of the students considered the male character too drunk to give consent after 14 standard drinks, and 30% considered him too drunk after 28 standard drinks.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, commented: “All institutions have a duty of care to their students and I am delighted to see many of them integrate and support these empowerment and preventative initiatives, such as consent workshops. As Minister it falls to me to ensure that providing excellence in education depends also on providing a safe learning environment, free from sexual harassment, assault and the fear or threat of it. Therefore I welcome NUI Galway’s report. It is a timely piece of research given that the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment is carrying out a major review of the relationships and sexuality curriculum.”
Commenting on the findings, Dr Pádraig MacNeela at NUI Galway said: “The survey findings show that the social environment in which consent takes place among college students is often unsupportive – most women experience harassment, a large majority of all students are dissatisfied with their sexual health education at school, and social norms for drinking minimise the true impact of alcohol on the capacity to give consent.”
During 2017-18, the researchers trained over 100 facilitators to lead SMART Consent workshops at NUI Galway, Queens University Belfast, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin City University, the University of Limerick, and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The report compares Pre-Workshop and Post-Workshop attitudes of 761 of the students who took part in a workshop with those trained facilitators during 2017-18:
Pre-Workshop, 29% strongly agreed that they felt well informed about sexual consent, compared with 71% of students Post-Workshop.
Pre-Workshop, 28% strongly agreed that they have all the skills they need to deal with sexual consent, compared with 60% Post-Workshop.
Pre-Workshop, 34% of students strongly agreed that most people felt that asking for consent is important, compared with 46% Post-Workshop.
Dr Siobhán O’Higgins at NUI Galway, said: “The SMART Consent workshop is strongly associated with students feeling knowledgeable and skilled about sexual consent. The discussion and peer engagement strategies we use mean it is a workshop, not a class. We encourage students to find their own positive approach to consent, but also know that a full response to this issue involves action outside workshops too, to change the culture in college and society”.
At the launch, Dr Charlotte McIvor will preview one of the four short interactive consent films she has developed with her theatre students for a new multimedia campaign that will help address this culture change. The film series was collaboratively written and researched by NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies students led by Dr McIvor. Each interactive film gives the viewer control over characters’ decisions at key points, leading to three possible endings to each film. The four films (co-directed by McIvor and Mick Ruane) portray sexual encounters from heterosexual and LGBTQ perspectives, as well as long-term and casual sexual relationships.
Dr Charlotte McIvor offers: “We wanted to use film to capture the complexity of how consent is negotiated between partners and portray just how many decision points there actually are within any given sexual encounter.”
The first film, ‘Tom and Julie’ can be viewed at: www.nuigalway.ie/consent=omfg/. The other three films will be made available on the NUI Galway website and YouTube by staggered release in autumn 2018 as part of the Consent=OMFG campaign.
We need to keep our women safe and attached up to date information from the HSE in relation to the Cervical Scandal .
The HSE Serious Incident Management Team (SIMT) has been working to respond to the failings revealed by the CervicalCheck audit. This report will be provided daily to outline and provide a progress update on the response to this situation.
CervicalCheck carried out an audit of women who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer over the last 10 years. The audit happened after their cancer was notified to CervicalCheck. Not all of these women were told about the audit or that, in some cases, the audit found their screening test could have provided a different result and recommended earlier follow-up.