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Greens' Hackett highlights abuse she gets online as female politician

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Pippa Hackett

Pippa Hackett

Pippa Hackett

New Green Party 'super junior' minister Pippa Hackett has highlighted some of the social media abuse she has received as a female politician.

The Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture said one of the challenges in politics is dealing with abuse. During the 2020 general election, she said social media comm­ents were "far more negative". If she posted a press release on Facebook, abuse came thick and fast.

"People would read only the headline and not the article. They'd make a comment such as, 'She hasn't a f**king clue'. Or that, 'She's as thick as a plank'," she said.

The Green Party politician also said she has had to get used to comments about her appearance, but added they haven't been all bad.

"My best one was in a positive way. I was addressing the beef plan protest in Dublin. Later, I saw a picture of myself and somebody had said, 'oh there's a Milf'...," she said with a laugh. "It was slightly more favourable than some."

When asked about women in politics being sexualized, she said: "They wouldn't say, yeah, your man's a ride or something. Nobody would put that up. I agree. It's a sexualization."

Ireland has the 10th lowest representation of women in national parliament in the EU, accord­ing to Central Statistics Office figures.

Ms Hackett feels women aren't pursuing politics because "it's bloody hard".

She had to juggle rearing children and council work. She recalled sitting in Offaly County Council: "The men would say their piece. The women would say theirs. Then the men would say the same piece a second time on the same topic. We women had to pick up the kids from school and make dinner."

Sunday Independent