Fine Gael is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in Ireland with a year-long programme to highlight the contribution women have made to Irish public life.
On the eve of Nollaig na mBan (January 6), An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched the Fine Gael programme saying, “This year marks the centenary of Irish women getting the vote and the right to stand in elections. Fine Gael will be celebrating this historical landmark with a programme of events at national and local level. I hope to see both party members and the wider public embrace the opportunity to get involved.
“The centenary of women’s suffrage provides an opportunity to reflect on how women’s rights have improved in Ireland over the last 100 years, and look at what still needs to be done. Fine Gael will draft a Women’s Charter in 2018 which will set out a path for the further advancement of women’s rights in Ireland and will be debated at our next Ard Fheis.
“1918 was a momentous year for women in Ireland and I am fully committed to progressing the rights of women under Fine Gael in Government.”
Fine Gael’s programme for 2018 has three main aims; to highlight the work of women in the party; to recognise the contribution women make to the success of the party; and to engage women in setting the vision of gender equality for the future.
Throughout the year, Fine Gael will be running a number of regional seminars inviting local women’s groups to contribute to Fine Gael’s vision and plans for the future of our country. Fine Gael will reach out to women in communities all across Ireland to celebrate this important milestone and hear from them about how we can continue to ensure progress for women’s rights in Ireland.
Each Fine Gael constituency organisation will be invited to hold an event marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, and inviting party members to bring any memorabilia they may have which shows the contribution their female relatives have made and are making.
Fine Gael will also recognise and honour the women who have played a significant role in the party and in Irish public life, creating awards for outstanding contributions from women. The party will also launch a publication honouring the Fine Gael women who have been elected to the Dáil over the last 100 years.
Fine Gael Clare constituency Chair, Geraldine Gregan said, “It is an opportunity to reflect and honour the contributions to Irish society made by many Fine Gael women over the past 100 years. The 100th anniversary is also a good time for us Fine Gael women to reflect on the effectiveness of our current contributions to the party, and discuss where we go next.”
MEP Deirdre Clune said Fine Gael will also organise a women’s group visit to the European Parliament this year.
“It is hugely important we value our membership of the European Union in terms of the contribution to women’s rights in Ireland,” she said.