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Inaugural meeting of Citizens’ Assembly on gender equality

Saturday January 25, 2020: The Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality (the Assembly) is meeting today in Dublin Castle for the first time to begin the process of advancing gender equality. They are guided in this work by the Oireachtas resolution passed in July 2019 that established the Assembly.

Chairperson of the Assembly, Dr Catherine Day said “Today we are making the next steps on the journey that goes back to the promise of ‘equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens’ in the 1916 Proclamation. Over the coming months we will be looking at parts of our 1937 Constitution and discussing whether or not they should be changed. We will discuss public policy, representations of women and men in the worlds of work and care, participating in public life and sharing responsibility in our home lives. These are issues that concern and affect all of us.  Our debates will be inclusive, and we will only succeed in advancing gender equality if everyone engages.  Our citizen members will be doing a valuable public service by giving their time and sharing their views. And their views will matter – as they will subsequently be considered by both Houses of the Oireachtas.”

The inaugural meeting includes a presentation from Dr. Evelyn Mahon of Trinity College about the social changes in Irish society in recent decades.

The Assembly also today announced details on its planned weekend meetings over the coming months as it deliberates on gender equality. Each of the meetings will take place in Malahide, Co. Dublin as follows:

February: 15th – 16th

March: 21st – 22nd

April: 25th – 26th

May 30th – 31st

July 4th-5th

The Oireachtas resolution also specified that “the Assembly will engage independent researchers to monitor and record, amongst other things, the perceived deliberative quality of the Assembly. ”After an independent peer reviewed process overseen by the Irish Research Council, Dr. Jane Suiter of Dublin City University has been awarded a Research Fellowship to conduct this research. She will carry out this work in collaboration with Professor David Farrell, UCD; Professor Yvonne Galligan, TU Dublin and Professor Simon Niemeyer, University of Canberra.

A public consultation inviting any person, group or organisation with views on achieving greater gender equality to contribute them to the work of the Assembly will be opened on Monday 27 January and will close on Friday, March 6th. Further details will be available on the Assembly’s website (  Catherine Day encouraged contributions expressing the hope that” we hear from as broad a range of opinions and voices as possible. All of the submissions received by the Assembly will be published on our website.”

Media Contact:

Páraic Gallagher, Q4PR

+353 86 7749 300