Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said the centenary of women’s suffrage should act as a stark reminder that the struggle for equality for women, and many others in Irish society, remains unfilled.
The Sinn Féin TD was speaking after attending events that marked the 100th Anniversary of the Representation of the People Act which extended the right to vote to 30 year old women who had a land holding and all 21 year old males.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“1918 was a historic year for Ireland and its people in their long struggle for independence, freedom, and equality.
“The Representation of the People Act represented a major milestone for the Women’s Suffrage Movement and paved the way for the eventual extension of voting rights to all women.
“However, as we celebrate this milestone we must also be conscious that it would be more than five decades before we had universal suffrage in the North of Ireland
“This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and both these events should serve as reminders that the struggle for rights and equality is still ongoing and remains unfilled.
“Sadly, in 2018 we are still discussing basic human rights, like marriage equality, the right of a woman to control her own fertility, the recognition of Irish language speakers, as if they are optional. They should instead be the cornerstone of our society.
“Irish society still discriminates against many women, particularly those trapped in poverty. We still need to address key issues like the gender pay gap, political representation, discrimination in accessing pensions, and affordable childcare, to name just a few. These issues must be addressed once and for all if we are to move towards a rights-based society based on genuine equality.
“Surely it is right and fitting, as we recall the sacrifices of all those women and men who gave so much down through the decades to bring about a truly inclusive society, that we recommit ourselves to making their vision of an Ireland of equals a reality.”