'No equality in the workplace without equality in the home'
Minister tells conference highly educated female workforce is greatest under-utilised resource the nation possesses
Published 28/05/2015 | 02:30
As Minister for Justice and Equality, I am often asked what it is like to be a woman in a male-dominated environment. It is true that if I look around my Cabinet colleagues, just four out of the 15 senior ministers are women.
But what might surprise you the most is that, at 26pc, this is the best gender balance that has ever been achieved in the history of our State.
Next year, we commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the Proclamation for which, notably, was addressed to "Irishmen and Irishwomen". That was at a time when women did not have the right to vote in the vast majority of democracies. Regrettably, the progress towards gender equality in Ireland in the intervening years was very slow with the major impetus along the way being provided by our entry to the European Community in 1973.