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
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.
Listen: Irish Time’s Women Podcast– An episode from GE2020 where Ciairín discussed the participation of women in politics and the gender breakdown of candidates.
If you missed our first newsletter- you can find it here