Citizens’ Assembly focuses on gender equality

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 Citizens' Assembly focuses on gender equality

The first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality has taken place at Dublin Castle.

The assembly is set to run for the next six months.

It will be chaired by former European Commission Secretary General Catherine Day.

Ms Day has said the assembly will focus on equality for men as well as women, and will look at why women are disproportionately represented in low income jobs, as well as how they are represented in public life.

She said gender affects every aspect of a person’s life, from the moment they are born to the day they die.

It makes important impacts on the quality of lives people live, she said, on the choices they are free to make, or that are predetermined for them by society, and it can be the reason behind barriers or constraints that need to be examined.

She said: “Today we are making the next steps on the journey that goes back to the promise of ‘equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens’ made in the 1916 Proclamation.”

She said the assembly will look at parts of the Constitution and whether they should be changed, public policy, representations of women and men in the worlds of work and care, participating in public life and sharing responsibility in home life.

She said that while the assembly will certainly look at women’s issues, gender equality equally affects and involves men and the LGBT+ community.

The debates will be conclusive, she said, and added that gender equality can be advanced only if everyone engages. 

The assembly will meet in Malahide to deliberate over five weekends in February, March, April, May and July and will hear from academics and advocacy groups.