Senator Alice Mary Higgins launches programme to commemorate 100 years of women's suffrage

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins with Senator Ivana Bacik and suffragettes at the launch of Votail 100
Senator Alice-Mary Higgins with Senator Ivana Bacik and suffragettes at the launch of Votail 100

Today, Senator Alice Mary Higgins joined Senator Ivana Bacik and Ceann Comhairle, Seán O’Fearghail TD to formally launch the Houses of the Oireachtas’ programme to mark the centenary of Irish women being granted the right to vote and run in parliamentary elections. 

Speaking today, Senator Alice Mary Higgins, said “our Vótáil100 programme will celebrate the lives of the women most closely involved in the campaign leading up to legislative reform and who courageously fought for women’s emancipation. We will celebrate Countess Markievicz, the first woman elected to the British Parliament at Westminster, but who never took her seat. She was also the first female TD and cabinet minister to serve in the Dáil.” 

“Women have played a vital role in the formation of the Irish State yet their contribution has often been overshadowed by those of their male counterparts. In 2018 we will shine a spotlight on these courageous women and hopefully encourage and inspire more women to become politically involved.” 
“Although we have recently achieved a significant increase in women’s representation following the introduction of gender quotas for the 2016 general election, women remain greatly under-represented in the Oireachtas. Today, there are only 35 women out of 158 TDs in the Dáil (22%) and only 19 women out of a total of 60 Senators (32%). Clearly, much more needs to be done to bring women forward in politics. I hope the commemorations taking place this year will encourage women across Ireland to enter political life and also remind us all of the importance of the right to vote.” 

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Failure to address glaring inequality on pensions in Budget 2018 is indefensible - Government must face up to its responsibilities towards older women

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins seeks special debate on gender and equality aspects of Budget 2018

Senator Higgins said “The failure to address this glaring inequality on pensions in Budget 2018 is indefensible, particularly given Government promises on gender and equality proofing of the budget. I am calling on Pascal Donohoe to allocate additional funds to address this before the Finance and Social Welfare Bills pass through the Oireachtas. Senator Higgins has also called for a special Seanad debate on gender and equality aspects of Budget 2018, in particular the failure to address the glaring pension inequality within the contributory state pension system.