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'I am not an accessory to him': Maura Derrane wants to change attitudes on gender equality

RTÉ Today presenter Maura Derrane has opened up on her feelings about gender equality, the #MeToo movement and staying independent in her marriage.

In a recent interview, Maura said she is sad that women are getting fewer jobs than men because of their gender.

"When it comes to things like #MeToo, it is very sad to think that women are getting less jobs and that there isn’t enough female representation in various areas. But I know that is the reality," she told Irish Country Magazine.

Photos: Irish Country Magazine

I just would love to change people’s attitudes, so that gender doesn’t come into play and it is just about the person. All of these things should come down to merit.

Maura said her positive attitude has helped her career in television.

"I do believe that attitude is very important," she said.

"I believe when you enter into a business that is not very stable like television, you can’t go into work every day wondering if you will still have a job in a year or six months or two months. By nature it is volatile.

"My attitude has always been that a natural end will come to one thing and another thing will happen. It is like a cycle.

"It’s like The Secret and putting things out to the universe. I do put things out to the universe and let it happen naturally, rather than being hell for leather and fighting for things. I have never had to fight for work."

Maura opened up about her relationship with her husband, the Government’s Special envoy to the USA, John Deasy, with whom she has a five-ear-old son, Cal. She said good childhare has made a huge difference for her when John is away from home.

"There are so many other people like us right now, I don’t think we are special in anyway.

"John has been away an awful lot in the past few years, being back and forth to the States. Sometimes it’s not easy, but look, other people are away on oil rigs for months at a time.

"I think if one person is at home, it’s easier, let’s be straight about it. Life is smoother. My mother was always at home when I was growing up and things do go smoother. If you have good childcare, which I do, then it is relatively easy."

She added that the couple keep their careers seperate.

"We both have always felt like it is much more important to keep our individuality when it comes to our careers. We have stuck to our guns on that.

"So many people have asked us to do interviews or to go on shows but we refused to do it.

I am not an accessory to him, I’m me and he is him. That is the way it was before we were ever married.

Maura, who is 48, also spoke about the affects of aging.

"I don’t think any woman is ever really happy with exactly what they look like. Whether you are 20 or 40.

"I think we are very judgemental of ourselves. We probably shouldn’t be but it’s a natural thing. I know I know we shouldn’t, I know all the things we should do, but there is no point pretending — we all do it.

"I am in my late forties, I don’t look as good as I did 20 years ago let’s be straight about it. I am not hopping and leaping and going to the gym either, but I do take care of myself.

"I take a lot of supplements actually because I really believe that for me and the life I lead that it probably isn’t possible to have the perfect diet, otherwise I would just have to stay home and cook all the time."

Maura's full interview is in the March issue of Irish Country Magazine.