Tuesday 26 March 2019

Irish Girl Guides told to 'go home and make lunch' by St Patrick's Day parade MC

Irish Girl Guides
Irish Girl Guides

Sasha Brady

Members of the Irish Girls Guide were told to "go home and make lunch" in comments made by a St Patrick's Day parade MC.

The Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides, Helen Concannon, said that she was shocked by the comments made last weekend.

"Such outdated and misogynistic remarks made so openly at a public event, even in the guise of so-called humour, are completely out of place in the 21st century and go against all that our organisation is striving to achieve," Ms Concannon wrote on a Facebook post.

The comments were made at this year's parade in Greystones, County Wicklow.

As part of the St Patrick's Day festival, many Girl Guides members chose gender equality as the theme for their march.

A group of girls between the ages of five and 14 walked the parade in Greystones carrying posters which read: 'Girl Power', 'Equal Rights' and the Girl Guides' tagline, 'Giving Girls Confidence'.

They sang a song as they marched, which included the lyrics: "Can a woman fly an airplane? Yes, she can, yes she can! Can a woman build a building? Yes, she can, yes she can!

When the song was finished, the MC - addressing the crowds - said the song was "very provocative".

He added: "Can a woman go home now and make the lunch? Can a woman do the ironing?"

A spokesperson for the Irish Girl Guides told Independent.ie that the MC apologised and said his comments were not meant to cause offence.

The group said it has accepted the apology but wants people to learn from the experience.

"It's important to remember that words (even in jest) do have an impact on children and adults."

The Chief Commissioner said the girls and leaders will "continue to promote themselves and maintain a positive outlook in Greystones where the Guides have been in existence for over 100 years."

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