Citizens Assembly for gender equality meets for first time since Covid-19 outbreak

Citizens Assembly for gender equality meets for first time since Covid-19 outbreak

Chairperson Catherine Day of the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

The first meeting of the Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality since the start of the pandemic has taken place today.

Members met online to discuss 'Women in Leadership', with a focus on women in politics, broadcasting and childcare.

Dr Lisa Wilson from the Nevin Economic Research Institute said the issue of childcare within Covid-19 is an important topic to discuss as part of the assembly.

She said that for essential workers in the health system childcare became a critical issue very quickly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Childcare became an immediate issue right from the very beginning. 

"They [workers] were voicing their concern and the requirement for childcare right from the very beginning. 

"However, unlike in other countries such as the UK there was no direct government provision for the childcare needs of essential employees," said Dr Wilson. 

The previous government and the HSE came under criticism from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) for the lack of support available to staff for childcare needs early in the outbreak of the coroanvirus. 

The trade union, Fórsa, said the HSE guidance on childcare supports for essential workers fell far short of what was required to assist essential health staff and to maximise the numbers available in hospitals, community health services and nursing homes.

More in this section