Senator Erin McGreehan.
Erin McGreehan, the Fianna Fáil Senator for Louth and Seanad Spokesperson on Equality and Integration, says that proper supports are required for women in the workplace and that it will only happen through the bravery of women and journalists who speak out against and report on sexism in the workplace.
Senator McGreehan was commenting following an Irish Examiner report which details that at least 12 of the 34 female TDs in Leinster House have been sexually harassed at some point in their lives.
“Its wholly unacceptable that in this day and age women are subjected to harassment” Senator McGreehan said.
“Not to speak about it keeps it happening as men do not get reprimanded. I want to commend both Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin for speaking out about her experience in UCD, and my colleagues in the Oireachtas and the reporting from the Irish Examiner this morning.
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“If you do complain about sexual harassments you are either seen as weak, a victim, someone vulnerable – or on the other side you are so confident that you believe this man has made a pass at you. And you believe you are something special or better than other women who are not getting harassed.
“This is a continuous cycle. Most men that I meet are absolute gentlemen and it is not a reflection on the male. It is a reflection of some men who have a sense that women are less and that sexual comments are okay. This is because there is very little that can be done unless there is a societal change.
“I do believe something needs to be done. I will be writing to the Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach to highlight my concerns and seek clarity on what supports are available to members and staff in the House of the Oireachtas in terms of reporting and addressing sexual harassment. If we want more women and younger people to be involved in politics, eradicating sexual harassment should be a priority,” Senator McGreehan concluded.
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