Men are parents too!

We live in an age of unprecedented equality between parents, but, almost three years in, I can confirm that it’s news to many people that men can be parents too. Many of my female friends out-earn their husbands and partners. Sometimes, the early rationale for their career decisions included an expectation that the man would take [...]

2019-05-13T21:12:36+00:00 May 19th, 2019|Categories: Opinion, Personal, Print|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Hope at last on climate action?

Ireland is not usually at the top of the league tables when it comes to environmentalism. In fact, we are regularly close to the bottom among our peers. We miss emissions targets, recycling targets, come close to the bottom in the biodiversity stakes and our dedication to cars and cows means we are not adapting as [...]

Our health system is held together with sellotape

The unspeakably tragic death of Marie Downey and her newborn son Daragh in Cork University Maternity Hospital this week has yet again thrown under the spotlight the appalling resourcing of our health service and the conditions under which staff are expected to manage critical incidents. I have spoken to nobody this week who is not haunted [...]

2019-04-02T07:51:05+00:00 April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Opinion, Print|Tags: , , |

Was it for this?

When Constance Markievicz made history as the first woman in the British Isles to be elected a Member of Parliament, it must have been an epic moment. 100 years ago next year, (some) women across the United Kingdom, then including Ireland, got the vote, and the first to be elected was an Anglo-Irish republican socialist from [...]

2018-12-01T09:52:42+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I don't normally do this, but… 2015… what's the plan?

I don't normally do very personal blog posts here, but quite a bit of my op/ed stuff over the past year related to personal experiences, so I feel I should bring it all together a bit here.  It's late January, and I am only now getting into 'January mode', the mode of healthy eating and exercise, [...]

Mapping the gender gap

The World Gender Gap Report 2014 has been released today. Here's a very nifty map of the report showing where the biggest disparities exist and also mapping progress over time using the slider.  Rwanda (my area of interest in this regard) comes one step ahead of Ireland due to its enormous success in involving women in [...]

The Rwandan genocide

As the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide approaches, the country’s President Paul Kagame is on a tour of Europe commemorating what is known as Kwibuka 20.   Since 1994, Rwanda has been synonymous with genocide. In a planned action which began 20 years ago this month, approximately 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred [...]

Sticks and stones

“Sure you know what I mean…” The call to complicity is one we hear all the time. It’s the stock response from anyone called out on discrimination, and it’s all too easy to just nod along and mumble “yeah, I do”. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a [...]

Rwanda's women working together (or, everyone's got a Bono story)

Women's empowerment in Rwanda is crossing the boundaries of ethnicity, class, education, geography and even wellness. Yesterday, we met Yvonne Mutakwasuku, the mayor of a district called Muhanga just west of Kigali. A softly spoken Francophone, Yvonne has worked as a health and social worker with local authorities, NGOs and women's groups for her entire career, [...]

Getting to grips with Rwanda's complex gender quotas

Our Western images of Africa are of colourful women with babies on their backs, not business suit-clad women with laptops. They're of starving children, not well-fed men about town sipping lattes in indigenous coffee chains that bear striking resemblances to Costa or Starbucks, but with better food. This is Kigali. We're here to research the success [...]