Saturday 20 October 2018

Two men announced for MacGill gender panel

Joe Mulholland: ‘A work in progress’. Picture: Collins
Joe Mulholland: ‘A work in progress’. Picture: Collins
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A political summer school at the centre of criticism over a lack of female speakers has announced two male speakers for its panel on 'gender stereotypes'.

The final event at the MacGill Summer School, which takes place each year in Glenties, Co Donegal, is entitled: 'Women in Irish Public Life: Why are organisations such as the MacGill school still trapped in a world of gender stereotypes?'

To date, two men have been confirmed for the line-up - 'Irish Times' columnist Fintan O'Toole and public affairs consultant Gerard Howlin. The organisers have included a "TBA" or "to be arranged" caveat to the listing on its website.

The session was one of two added to the roster of this year's event, following a backlash against the school's draft programme, after it was revealed less than a quarter of scheduled speakers were female.

Two TDs, Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall of the Social Democrats, pulled out of the event due to the gender imbalance.

Organisers of the event apologised and committed to adding more women to the bill before it takes place next month.

In addition, the school extended its programme to add two events: one on the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and another examining the slow progress in Ireland in relation to gender parity at public forums - the event at which Mr O'Toole and Mr Howlin are due to speak.

The programme is a "work in progress", director of the school Joe Mulholland told the Irish Independent last night. The school plans to add female panellists to the discussion on gender stereotypes. It is expected that there will be five people on the panel for the session, which will bring the summer school to a close.

Irish Independent

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