Women’s health forum conducted by the Labour Party
By Suhasini Srinivasaragavan
Galway women’s health forum took place at the Hardiman Hotel in Eyre Square yesterday evening.
Dublin North West Senator Annie Hoey of the Labour Party conducted the forum yesterday ahead of International Women’s Day, next Wednesday 8th March.
Former Galway Mayor and other Labour Party members were present in the audience that consisted of significantly more men than women.
In her speech, she said that matters relating to women’s health rarely make it to the national agenda.
“Credits to my colleagues from Fianna Fáil for pushing conversations on menopause,”, she said.
Until 2020 she rarely found menopause mentioned in any official capacity.
“It shouldn’t take a group of women to say that ‘we’re going to force the government’s hand’…I would like an Ireland where women don’t have to come and bear their pain publicly to enact change”, she said.
In response to a statement made by an audience member regarding the particular mistreatment of women from minority backgrounds, senator Hoey said, “if Savita was from a different country, would she have been treated the same?”
Savita Halappanavar died of sepsis in 2012 after she was denied an abortion.
Former mayor of the Galway city council, Níall McNelis, brought up issues such as period poverty, eating disorders, mental health issues and bullying. These issues mainly affect younger schoolgirls. He asked why we “have to rely on charities for support.”
Women in medicine
Furthermore, Max Kelly, a former journalist and a labour party supporter questioned the high turnover rate of female medical professionals.
“Around two years ago, for the first time, more than 50 per cent of all medical students were women, but that didn’t translate into the workforce,” he said.
Ciaran Cafforey, another labour party supporter, said that there is a lack of formal education regarding women’s health in schools, especially among boys.
“I cannot remember women’s health education being taught in schools when I was young, and I don’t know if that has changed,” he said.
Senator Hoey said she will take the suggestions to the Seanad for further discussion.
1 thought on “Women’s health forum conducted by the Labour Party”
nicely written. Provides gist of what the speakers stated. Some phrases such as ‘period poverty’, ‘high turnover rate’ are not used commonly. Ireland being a developed country with high HDI, it is hard to understand that why women have been left behind – perhaps strong Catholic background.