Comment: Gender inequality is no accident - it is man-made
My daughter is active in a number of sports but, all through the spring and early summer, she had a recurring knee injury.
Eventually, we discovered, with the help of an excellent local physiotherapist, that the source of the problem resides not in her knee but in her arches. She has fallen arches, putting her whole body out of line and causing persistent injury.
The physiotherapist prescribed sets orthotic inserts for her everyday shoes and her football boots. These inserts are designed to correct her posture and her stance, and redistribute her weight to the proper pressure points. It’s not all plain sailing — the damage has been 13 years in the making, it will take a time to correct and there will be a little pain involved.
In the past number of weeks, we had a new Taoiseach elected by the Dáil: the youngest in the history of the State, a bright young gay man, the son of an immigrant father. Surely this man — who represents so many unrepresented sectors in our society — will rebalance the body politic and help us to straighten ourselves as we face the many challenges that lie ahead?
What a disappointment, then, when the first choices made by him compounded the evil of gender imbalance that for centuries has crippled our world, leaving it bent and pained and broken. Out of a total of 35 ministerial and junior ministerial positions, only seven were awarded to women.
One able and committed woman — a former junior minister — who was passed over sought an explanation from the new Taoiseach. He told her he had to reward his supporters.
This is so disappointing and disillusioning — the same old shoes, the same old socks, and the crippling continues.
I’m no expert in gender studies but one doesn’t need a PhD in the area to realise that since the dawn of civilisation, the absence of women from positions of power and influence in the affairs of State, faith and commerce has contributed significantly to the development a skewed world marked by division, exclusion and an unequal distribution of resources.