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Still long way to go to true freedom and equality for women - Fearon

23 May, 2018 - by Megan Fearon

Speaking in Westminster today on ‘A Hundred Years of Women’s Suffrage: Looking back, moving forward’ panel Megan Fearon MLA said women must be involved in the political and economic reconstruction of society. 

The party’s equality spokesperson said:

“The political landscape in Ireland is rapidly changing. Regardless of what happens within the next period, it is crucial in going forward that women are involved in the political and economic reconstruction of society and indeed Ireland.

“As we pay tribute to the many women and men who struggled long and hard to win votes for women, although universal suffrage didn’t truly exist for quite some time as it was 1969 before many in the north of Ireland could vote, it is important to remember people like Kathleen Lynn, Isabella Todd, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and of course the first female MP and proud abstentionist Constance Markievicz.

“They all believed fundamentally in the intrinsic equality of all people. They fought to achieve that. We must continue their fight and we are reminded, just how far we still have to go to realise true freedom and equality for women in Ireland.

“It is time we stood up because it has been estimated that a child born today will be drawing her pension before she is equally represented in most of the world’s parliaments. 

“Because across the world women’s rights and agency are under attack in the most vindictive of ways. 

“Because women still don’t have equal pay. 

“Because women still don’t have equal representation. 

“Because women still don’t have access to appropriate healthcare. 

“Because one in three women will be beaten, sexually assaulted or raped in her lifetime. 

“Because people still ask what the victim was wearing.

“On Friday, Ireland has a unique opportunity to begin the process of changing the law on abortion rights by repealing the 8th Amendment.

“Currently women whose life, health or mental health is at risk, facing a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality or have been raped or sexual abused can’t access healthcare they need.

“This campaign has ignited a public discussion about women’s rights and our place in Ireland for first time in years.

“There has been a reawakening across Ireland of the need to advance a rights-based society and we have a real opportunity to change the political landscape by harnessing the untapped potential of many in our society including women.” 

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