Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus welcomes progress on maternity leave for Councillors

Chair of the Oireachtas Womens Caucus and Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed the progress on the provision of maternity and family leave for elected local authority members.

Senator O’Loughlin said, “I am pleased to that Government are moving to provide maternity leave options for City and County Councillors around the country.”

“In December 2021 I brought forward the first panel motion in the Seanad on the issue of Family leave for local representatives. This was following the report from the AILG in the area of Family/Paternity/Maternity leave for Councillors, which was spearheaded by former President Mary Hoade.”

“In April I met with Minister Burke and I laid before him to real and stark realities on the ground for public representatives who were trying to have a baby and to maintain their demanding obligations in public office. There is absolutely no doubt that the lack of maternity leave is deterring female participation in politics and we need to see that changed.”

“Politics at all levels is not family friendly and it is not a job that many people, especially women see as a viable career. The demands and the lack of support for people in politics is simply not conducive to family life. This needs to change. Female participation in politics is crucially important and we need to deliver for women if we want to see more women in politics.”

Fiona concluded “the proposals that cabinet will hear this week will go some way in addressing core issue for many women in politics, and its important to note that these changes will also benefit those who need to take time out to fulfil care duties or other family reasons. It is a meaningful step forward in making politics more family friendly.”