President Michael D Higgins has spoken of the “great responsibility” resting on Irish men’s shoulders in the pursuit of gender equality.
The President hosted the annual International Women’s Day reception in Aras an Uachtarain yesterday with 100 Irish sportswomen in attendance.
He acknowledged the struggle by Irish sportswomen to attain the same level of recognition as their male counterparts.
“The world of sport is still considered by many to be chiefly the domain of men,” he said.
“Women’s sport is regarded as playing a secondary role, their achievements being lauded momentarily but often failing to sustain long term public interest or receive appropriate support”.
Meanwhile, Tanaiste Joan Burton said violence towards women is of significant concern. She pointed out that an estimated 13 million women in the EU experience physical violence over any 12-month period.
“This is a huge problem for women in Ireland and across the world and as Tanaiste and Labour Party Leader tackling and eradicating this appalling abuse remains one of my highest priorities,” she said. “I would also like to draw attention to the progress that we as a Government are making in tackling poverty among women, by reducing the gender pay gap and by working to improve pay and conditions for women in lower-paid jobs.”