| 6.5°C Dublin

Jill's passion fuels my work against violence, says Tom

Close

Mary Robinson and Tom Meagher

Mary Robinson and Tom Meagher

Mary Robinson and Tom Meagher

TOM Meagher says his late wife's passion and interest in human rights and gender equality is what has led him to become an advocate for ending violence against women.

Jill Meagher (29), originally from Louth, was raped and murdered in Melbourne in 2012.

Her death sparked outrage after it emerged that her killer, Adrian Bayley, was out on parole at the time of the killing and had previously attacked other women.

Perpetrators

Mr Meagher is now an advocate for the White Ribbon campaign, the world's biggest male-led movement which aims to end violence against women.

"I think with men the role has to be to recognise the primary perpetrators of violence and engagement has to first recognise that," he said yesterday at a seminar attended by Irish and international human rights campaigners.

"I think the role of men is to self examine and to do that with other men."

Afterwards, he told the Herald that he had often discussed gender equality with his wife and said it was her passion that helped fuel his interest in the topic following her horrific death.

"She was really into this issue and I suppose that's where I started getting interested in it. Obviously after she died, that is something that I took with me but I had already learned so much of it through her," he said.

"She had spoken so often about gender equality and feminism but then when she died, that made me realise, 'This is actually what has happened and this is exactly what she was talking about all this time'."

Mr Meagher was speaking at a seminar on domestic and sexual violence against women which was organised by the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (ICGBV) .

The consortium consists of human rights organisations, the Irish Defence Forces and Irish Aid.

Other speakers at the event included former president and UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson and Nobel Prize nominee Claudia Paz y Paz.

Tolerance

Mrs Robinson said the world needed to take a "zero-tolerance" approach to violence against women.

The consortium's chair Rosamond Bennett said one in three women around the world experience violence and that preventing such crimes, as well as supporting victims, was key to tackling the problem.

"We must put in place strategies that meet the needs of survivors, change attitudes and behaviours that see women as being of less value to men, tackle discriminatory legislation and everyday practice and promote equality," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy