IrelandTaoiseach Leo Varadkar announces new Citizens' Assembly to examine gender issues
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Leo Varadkar has announced a new Citizens’ Assembly to examine gender issues and kicking off in October. The Taoiseach said that Ireland is not a country where men and women are equal, but that he wants us to become the first country in the world where the sexes are truly equal.
The gender Assembly will be followed shortly afterwards with a second convention looking at further local authorities reforms, including the possibility of having a directly-elected mayor for Dublin. The long-awaited referendum on replacing the archaic ‘woman’s place in the home’ provision from our Constitution will likely be nailed down at this gender assembly.
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Here we assess how he has done so far on a number of key issues and mark the report card of our Trendy Taoiseach . BREXIT Credit where credit is due, the Taoiseach has played a blinder on Brexit. While the entire House of Commons is in an unholy state, Leo has come out looking like the consummate statesman in comparison.
Mr Varadkar said the people’s forums have proved hugely successful in the past, leading to recent referendums on repealing the 8th (abortion) and the proposed abolition of the Seanad - even though this was defeated in the subsequent public vote.
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“The Government has decided to establish a new Citizen’s Assembly to examine and make recommendations on the issue of gender equality, equality between men and women. “That assembly will begin in October and will have about six months to do its work.
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“Ireland is a country in which we’ve made great strides forward when it comes to equality between men and women in recent years, whether it’s changing our laws on issues like divorce, reproductive rights or protecting women’s rights and domestic violence.
“Whether it’s the fact that are more women at work than ever before, there are more women that are more financially independent than ever before, whether it’s the fact that more women are doing well in the professions, in business or in politics.
“However, I don’t think anyone can argue for a second that Ireland is a country in which men and women are equal. “We fall very far short in terms of that and the current rate of change and the current rate of progress is too slow. “At the current rate of change it could take many generations before men and women are truly equal in Ireland and truly have equality of opportunity.
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“So really, this Citizen’s Assembly is the next step in achieving our aim in making Ireland the first country in the world where men and women are truly equal.”
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