Cork county councillors ‘sick’ of gender abuse

The Mayor’s office will work with Cork County Council to create a cross-county awareness campaign on gender violence.
Cork county councillors ‘sick’ of gender abuse

Cork County Council confirmed its full support to playing its part in whatever role national government sees for local government in a comprehensive national strategy.

“AS a young woman I’m sick of it.

“I’m sick of it not being safe to do something because I’m a woman. I’m sick of being on the receiving end of commentary that male counterparts just don’t receive,” said councillor Eileen Lynch after she submitted a motion on gender violence at a full Cork County Council meeting this week.

The motion from the Fine Gael councillor received unanimous approval from a range of councillors who spoke passionately on the subject. The Government are due to unveil a national strategy on tackling domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence at the start of March. Cork County Council confirmed its full support to playing its part in whatever role national government sees for local government in a comprehensive national strategy.

The Mayor’s office will also work with Cork County Council to create a cross-county awareness campaign on gender violence.

Councillor Lynch said: “We can’t keep accepting gender-based abuse and we need to call it out. The fundamentals here are education and respect. I believe that, as councillors, it is our duty to open the dialogue around gender-based abuse and violence towards women. I welcome the new national strategy announced by Minister McEntee. I feel, as councillors, we can work to put mechanisms in place to help eradicate this kind of behaviour in our communities and society,” she said.

Cllr Lynch said there has been a big increase in gender-based abuse since the onset of Covid.

“Most men and women experience gender-based violence, but the majority of victims are women and girls. Over the past 18 months, the Covid environment has seen a massive increase in gender-based abuse. As a councillor I have dealt with many women who have been victims of abuse. We never truly know what is going on behind closed doors.

Councillor Eileen Lynch submitted a motion on gender violence at a Full Cork County Council meeting this week
Councillor Eileen Lynch submitted a motion on gender violence at a Full Cork County Council meeting this week

“I’m sick of it not being safe to do something because I’m a woman. I’m sick of being on the receiving end of commentary that male counterparts just don’t receive. It is incumbent on us as public representatives to highlight this issue and to work to change the narrative. I would hope we could run a media campaign along with health organisations. We need to promote change and create a safe environment. We owe it to the upcoming generation of young women and girls.”

'ANOTHER FIGHT FOR FAIRNESS'

The Mayor of Cork County, Gillian Coughlan seconded the motion.

“This is another fight for fairness. I would like to see us maybe even pre-empting the national campaign and preparing the ground with some funding maybe from the Women’s Caucus and perhaps working with the JPC. We need to take the initiative and be ready to go when the national strategy comes.”

Councillor Susan McCarthy said a sea change is needed at the ground level.

“It has to start with young people. Boys need to learn to respect and protect, while girls need to speak out and support.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Gobnait Moynihan said she was also “sick” of it.

“I am angry. The list is endless with what we can’t do. We shouldn’t go out late at night and we shouldn’t wear certain clothes. I am sick of it.”

Councillor Liam Quaide said men need to take the lead in addressing the degrading attitudes towards women.

“I think men need to take a lead in addressing the kinds of degrading attitudes towards women. We need to make sexism in all forms unacceptable and to be role models to other men and boys. We need to work with women to make our society more equal and safer.”

The chief executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said the messaging is critical going forward.

“We will support the council in whatever way it wishes to move forward. We do need to be cognitive of the government launching a national strategy. The messaging is really critical in all of this.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more