#GE16 for Women: Affordable childcare and repealing the 8th key issues for election

The FEMPOWER confernece are debating the issues today

Newstalk, Labour, childcare, creche, parent, child, Labour, Joan Burton, election promises, #GE16, government, State, Leinster House, Oireachtas

File picture

Access to affordable childcare and repealing the Eight Amendment are just two of the topics due to be discussed later at a major conference in Dublin.

Over 300 people are expected to debate these issues at FEMPOWER - organised by Independent General Election candidate for Dublin South West, Katherine Zappone.

She says barriers to women's equality are exercising voters ahead of polling day:


Ms Zappone went on to dismiss claims that gender quotas are sexist. She stated the legislation is a temporary measure to ensure our parliament isn't dominated by any one sex.

Gender quotas ensure more choice for voters, as all political parties must field 30 per cent female candidates, according to Ms Zappone.

As one of 109 general election candidates who have so far signed up to the National Women’s Council’s Breakthrough Manifesto for women’s equality, Senator Katherine Zappone established #FEMPOWER as a space to inspire real, positive change for women.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Senator Zappone said: “There is a serious need for our political leaders to champion equal opportunities for women in the workplace, education, health services and in public life. Family services such as affordable and accessible childcare are vital for women to progress in society. The National Women’s Council’s success with their pre-election manifesto shows there is real commitment to women’s equality in Ireland – but there is a need to translate it into changes in public policy.

"I believe change is possible – just look at all the progress made in women’s equality over the past century. But the pace of change must increase. I believe 2016 should be the year of Mná na hÉireann."

Ahead of the conference, FEMPOWER spoke to a number of people about their views on equality and sexism: