Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown, Catherine Martin, has been elected as the first Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.
There are approximately 86 women's parliamentary groups or caucuses worldwide, designed to give women parliamentarians a forum and vehicle to discuss and campaign on issues predominantly affecting women. The first meeting of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus will take place on the 15th of November.
Speaking following her election as Chair of the Women’s Caucus, Deputy Martin said: “I am honoured and it is a privilege to have been elected to chair this forum of incredibly impressive women in the Oireachtas. I am delighted to have received cross-party support for my nomination for Chair, and wish to thank those who supported me. I would also like to thank Claire McGing NUI Maynooth and Niamh Gallagher, Women For Election for their input and guidance to members on the establishment of the Caucus and the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI), who facilitated the election of Chair, and who will act as our secretariat.
“I am eager to get started and I look forward to meeting and listening to former female members of the Oireachtas, who have also been invited to take part - their experience and insight will be invaluable.
“There are a huge number of issues for us to deal with, from the pensions' gap, to domestic violence and funding for a new SAVI report. I would also hope that this Caucus will aim to move a piece of legislation in the Dáil next year which is the centenary of women's suffrage, to address one of these major issues.
“This Caucus has clear potential to make a real difference to women in Ireland and this will be done by adopting what will be an unparalleled approach to tacking discrimination and inequality with women parliamentarians, current and former, coming together, in a non-party political, non-adversarial way, exploring and finding common ground and then ultimately delivering for women in their everyday lives.”