Chair of the Oireachtas Womens Caucus Senator Fiona O’Loughlin launches Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament report

Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus, Senator Fiona O’Loughlin launched the Forum on a Family Friendly and Inclusive Parliament report with other committees in Leinster House today.

Senator O’Loughlin said “By its very nature, the Oireachtas is not a typical workplace and we need to see flexibility in our operations if we want to increase participation in public life.”

“The Forum, which I sit on as Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus, has been meeting since March, and this is an extensive report on the actions we, as parliamentarians, in consultation with other stake holders, feel need to be acted upon to increase the diversity of our parliament. It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that our Parliament is an accurate reflection of our society”

“Of course, as Chair of the Women’s Caucus, increasing female representation in our parliament is a particular focus for me, and ensuring that the role of a public representative is as conducive to family life as possible will be key in attracting many women into public life”

“Ireland is an incredibly open and diverse society, and we need to see that diversity of background leading to diversity of thought within our decision-making processes. Diverse teams and organisation achieve better outcomes, and that is no different in politics.”

“Ensuring greater diversity within the Oireachtas will be key for the next phase of development in Ireland. We live in a more global and integrated international community, and we have one of the most sophisticated and educated workforces in the world, who are at the cutting edge of industry in terms of tech, finance, aviation, and scientific research. But there is a significant urban to rural divide, and the only way to marry these two, and prepare us for the future, is to diversify our political representatives.”

Fiona concluded “I want to thank our Chair Mary Upton and the other committee members for their contributions to this process and I am hopeful that these recommendations will lead to a more inclusive and family friendly Oireachtas”