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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Defund The National Women's Council

I was looking over the headlines yesterday – “Woman in hospital after assault in broad daylight in St Stephen's Green” “Gardaí identify boy (13) as person of interest in attack on woman in Cork” – and I thought “What on earth is going on? What has this country become?” “But luckily”, I thought, “we have many great supports for women from all walks of life, and there’s help to be had out there for those who need it. We have people fighting for women in this country.” And I looked up the National Women’s Council, and read through their mission statement, which has some great lines – “The ambition of the National Women’s Council is an Ireland where every woman enjoys true equality, and no woman is left behind.” “... part of the international movement to protect and advance women’s and girls’ rights…” “... fearless leaders for all women…” All wonderful things to be and to do… and then, tucked away at the bottom of the page, there it was – their definition of ‘woman’: “By ‘woman’ we refer to any person who identifies as a woman.” And just like that, every single preceding statement was changed utterly. Because the normal, ordinary, commonly understood definition of ‘woman’, THE central topic of the page, had been abandoned in favour of a socio-political statement which invalidates the very nature of the Council itself. “Anyone who identifies” - not, “anyone who is a biological woman”, or even “legally registered as a woman,” or “lives as a woman”, or “including those who have medically transitioned from male to female” – just, anyone who happens to feel like a woman at any given point. The Council was founded in 1973 – can you imagine telling the women of the day back then that one day the very definition of ‘woman’ would be based purely on feeling and emotion rather than fact? The Council states that it wants “no woman left behind”, but it will be leaving many women behind who will no longer feel represented by it. I certainly feel no longer represented, and I think that until the National Women’s Council can adequately define that middle word in their name, they should not enjoy the financial support of the taxpayer. SHOW LESS

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