Here in Women for Election we’re into our third week of working virtually – we have the wonderful luxury of being able to work from home during this crisis and we are working from our box rooms, kitchen tables and makeshift desks. We’re staying at home to help keep ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbours and our community safe and well.

On Tuesday we saw, once again, the importance and impact of politics and politicians. We saw new changes announced – new supports being put in place to help us all through the Covid-19 crisis, along with new restrictions to help us stay well and safe. Our politicians, government and opposition, have shown enormous leadership during this crisis. None more so than Ministers Katherine Zappone and Regina Doherty, who both lost their seats, and who are both working tirelessly in their ministerial roles. And whatever you think of the various decisions that have been made since this crisis hit, our politicians and our political system are doing all they can to help us get through this.

None of us have lived through a pandemic like this before – we are in new territory. And while nobody is sure what things will look like when we come out the other side, there is no doubt that this pandemic will have a lasting effect on all of us, emotionally, physically and financially, well after this crisis has passed. Covid-19 will affect us all. For now, we need to look out for each other, to mind each other and to keep washing the hands!

We will, in the words of President Higgins

Hold firm.
Take care.
Come home
together.

Tiocfaimid slán,
Ciairín.

 

Illustration Credit: Sarah Mazzetti

While we are working from home we are working to move our training and events online, and should have news for you soon.
We’ve also been doing some reading – and the analysis seems while that Covid-19 will affect us all, it will affect women more. School closures will impact disproportionately on women (as discussed in The Atlantic and The Guardian), the gender pay-gap means the recent avalanche of job-losses and cutbacks will have a greater impact on women – and it is likely that it will take longer for women’s wages to recover (New York Times), and the pressure felt by women who live in abusive homes when we are all being asked to stay at home must be enormous.
Never has the need for a political system with the full participation of women in Irish politics been more acute.

For those at home, who are helping flatten the curve – our look, listen, read this week has more of an Irish focus.

Watch:  HerStory on RTE

ListenIrish Time’s Women Podcast– An episode from GE2020 where Ciairín discussed the participation of women in politics and the gender breakdown of candidates. 

ReadMadam Politician: The Women at the Table of Irish Political Power by Martina Fitzgerald

 

If you missed our first newsletter- you can find it here

 

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Come join us to ensure #morewomen in politics! https://twitter.com/women4election/status/1353649611265748995

What barriers face women in leadership? How are women perceived when we lead? What part can you play in changing the face of Irish politics?

Join @MargaretEWard on Tues Feb 2nd for a *free* session on becoming the leader you want to see.

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'I'm Eileen, I'm a Traveller and a Senator. I'm not 'the Traveller' Senator "

Thank you all for the kind words about my interview on #TheTommyTiernanShow

Available to watch here: https://www.rte.ie/player/series/the-tommy-tiernan-show/SI0000001918?epguid=IP000066609

Excellent analysis ⁦@jenoconnell⁩. Diversity in public representation is critical to effective governance. Ireland ranks very poorly: Only 1 in 5 women & very minimal visible diversity in public office here. Put simply we need #MoreWomen elected. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/jennifer-o-connell-biden-s-cabinet-looks-like-america-the-d%C3%A1il-doesn-t-look-much-like-ireland-1.4465371