On Saturday, October 13th, Wexford Local Development poses the question Are We There Yet? in relation to equality for women in Ireland at its annual Community Conference, which will be held this year in the wonderful venue that is the Spiegeltent on Wexford Quay.

An inspiring morning starts off at 9am with positive discussions, ideas for community actions & equalising opportunities for women living in communities around Co. Wexford. In the afternoon the event moves to Wexford Arts Centre for a networking lunch open to all conference participants.

Speakers will include Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission; Jacinta Kitt, Author, Lecturer and Researcher & Senator Lynn Ruane who has recently published her first book “People Like Me”.

Attendees will include representatives from the cross party group Women for Election as well as community leaders from throughout Co. Wexford. Two members of WLD’s Community Health team, Polly Connors and Josie Cash will also speak of their experiences as women from a minority ethnic community.

Keeping things going smoothly on the day will be the recently retired CEO of Wexford Chamber of Commerce, Madeline Quirke who will be MC with the Chairman of Wexford Local Development, Michael Wall delivering the welcome address.

A special treat is in store from the founders of Wexford Town’s new Community Choir, Rising Voices, promoting inclusivity and support through music for those affected by suicide.

In deciding on the theme for this year’s event WLD drew on enlightening stories of  strong Wexford women of the early 20th century who contributed so much to the foundation of this state; Una Brennan, Maire Moran and the Ryan sisters of Tomcoole, to name but a few. Conscious of this rich legacy of activism among Wexford women, we want to examine the local context, 100 years after women were given the right to vote.

While women actively participate in a wide range of organisations at a community level, and within families, research shows that when women and girls prosper, entire communities in Ireland succeed. WLD’s core purpose is to address inequalities and with 76,000 women in Co. Wexford, the company seeks to encourage the empowerment of women to take leadership roles in local communities. On a daily basis the impact of inequality is encountered by front-line staff and this event aims to highlight and address some of the barriers that still very much exist; it is however, focusing on the positive using solution/ideas based approaches. The hope is that participants at the event, male and female, can suggest ways that Wexford Local Development can support actions through the various programmes it operates, in particular the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP) of which women are a named target group and equality is a horizontal theme running across all actions.

There is no charge to attend the event and booking is through Eventbrite or through the Community Development Team in any of the four Wexford Local Development offices.

Click here to access event tickets

Related Facts:

Population of County Wexford as per Census 2016: 149,722
Female: 76,000 (50.7%)
Male: 73,722 (49.3%)

The recently published National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017 – 2020 aspires “to change attitudes and practices preventing women’s and girls’ full participation in education, employment and public life, at all levels, and to improve services for women and girls, with priority given to the needs of those experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, the poorest outcomes.”


Source: Women For Election, Ireland

 Since the foundation of the State in 1918, just 114 women have been elected in the Republic of Ireland and only 1 in the Wexford constituency; our Dáil has never been less than 78% male. (Currently 22% of Dáil members are women)

In 32 elections over almost 100 years, Wexford has elected 1 female TD (Avril Doyle, 1982-1989, 1992-1997)

While accounting for 52% of the population, women make up just 16% of elected representatives.

4 of the 34 seats in Wexford County Council are held by women (12%)

In the 2016 General Election just 163 of the 551 candidates were women.

Ireland sits in 88th place out of 190 countries for female representation



In the High Court, women constitute 26% of judges

1 in every 2 female homicide victims in Ireland has been murdered by a current or former intimate partner. (Source: Safe Ireland)

On an annual basis 9,500 women and 3,000 children receive support or accommodation from a domestic violence service in Ireland. (Source: Safe Ireland)

Civil Service Management:

20% of all Secretaries General (Head of Government Departments) are women, 33% of all Assistant Secretaries & 40% of all Principal Officers.

Financial Sector:
Source: Central Bank 2017

Women occupied only 20% of senior management positions in the financial services sector between 2012 and 2016.

Education Sector:

Currently 19% of academic professor positions are filled by women and only 28% of the highest paid non-academic staff. This is not unique to Ireland.


53.3% of women are at work. However women are still almost three times more likely than men to work part-time, with a third of employed women in that situation.


For further information on ‘ Are We There Yet – Equality for Women in Ireland’, please contact:

Billy Murphy or Marie Louise Byrne on 053 9155800


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