The Justice Minister has said it's "regrettable" that no government representative has been invited to the National Women's Council (NWC) rally marking International Women's Day.
However, Helen McEntee rejected any suggestion that the NWC should have their State funding cut over the controversy.
The NWC is organising the 'No Woman Left Behind' rally outside Leinster House on March 5th.
Some opposition TDs and senators have been asked to speak at the event - including Mary Lou McDonald, Róisín Shortall, Ivana Bacik and Bríd Smith.
The NWC has defended the event - describing it as a "protest rally" - and has insisted that they continue to engage with Government politicians every day.
In a statement, the council said: "The National Women’s Council are mandated to represent the views of our members across Ireland to achieve true equality for women and girls.
"This work involves bringing people together and working alongside Government but sometimes it also includes protest and calling out Government inaction."
Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty has criticised the NWC's stance, telling RTÉ that she has a problem with "pitting women against each other".
She said she'd "double" the NWC's State funding if she thought they tolerated all women's views - but she feels they "doesn't represent my views and don't want to hear my views".
On The Hard Shoulder today, Minister McEntee was asked about the controversy.
She said: “I think it’s regrettable there isn’t someone from the government benches - any of the three parties - speaking at this.
“But we have a very good relationship in my department… with the National Women’s Council. The third national strategy we spoke to many of the organisations about today has been co-written with the NWCI and Safe Ireland…
“I really don’t think we’re going to achieve our shared goal and outcome - that is improving the lives of women and girls the length and breadth of this country - without working together.”
She said the NWC appears to have "made clear" they don't intend to invite any Government spokesperson.
However, she suggested the reason for a lack of invite is "something you'd have to ask" the NWC themselves about.