54 minutes | Mar 1, 2021

Journeying #26 with Seána Ó Rodaigh, Labour Councillor in Fingal County Council

This week I talk with Labour Councillor, Seána Ó’ Rodaigh. Seána calls herself an ‘accidental politician’. I find this a really interesting aspect of her journey into politics.In Ireland, we are familiar with parties practising nepotism and supporting political family dynasties. Yet this can perpetuate a narrower perspective of what Irish citizens actually want.  Seána however is not from such a background. She never envisioned a life in politics. Until she was approached to run for the Labour Party in 2019. And we chat about this in the podcast today. How so many of us don’t ‘see’ ourselves in key community roles, yet only by being politically active and engaged, can we instigate the change we wish to see and be in the world. We talk about the male-dominated space of politics, and how it is still not set up for female representation – currently, Ireland does not have legal provisions for elected members of parliament to take maternity leave. We discuss the consequences of low female representation in Irish politics. One issue is the ongoing lack of adequate childcare in Ireland. We make the unfortunate connection between Mother & Babies Homes in Ireland’s recent past, and the continuing lack of adequate childcare today. Research tells us it is only through childcare that women can be empowered to continue to work and provide a decent quality of life for their family. All these years later, it is still single mothers in particular that are left vulnerable if they cannot access childcare.  I can’t help but deduce if there were more female representation, such issues would be prioritised. I am grateful to women like Seána who are stepping up to level the game and bring a female lens to the political arena. TOPICS DISCUSSED INCLUDE: The male lens applied to policy-making is not going to reflect or represent women's perspectives on key issues Gender quotas Women re-envisioning senior leadership roles Co-founder of Be-Well Do-Well,  mental health training programmes  Gender equality and policy-making The exhaustive pace of life pre COVID-19Casual sexism in politics 'Women for Election' training. The report launches 1st MarchInternational Women's Day, 8th March RESOURCES MENTIONED:Seána Ó'Rodaigh's website page: https://www.labour.ie/seanaorodaighBe-Well Do-Well mental health & well-being training programmes: https://bewell-dowell.com/ 'Women for Election' training programmes: https://womenforelection.ie/ Women's Participation in Politics Report (2009) found that the obstacles to women’s equal participation in politics can be described as ‘the five Cs’ – Cash, Childcare, Confidence, Culture and Candidate selection procedures: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/committee/dail/32/joint_committee_on_justice_and_equality/reports/2009/2009-11-05_women-s-participation-in-politics_en.pdf________________________________________________________Subscribe to YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/3jLTdaqRate & review Journeying podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/journeying/id1529912826Like Facebook Page: https://bit.ly/33kp4bUVisit the Journeying website: https://journeying.me/
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