“Young girls cannot aim to be what they cannot see or hear.” - Minister Martin introduces measures for gender balance
Green Party Minister Catherine Martin this week brought before cabinet proposed amendments to the Online Safety and Media Regulations Bill, which includes measures to promote greater representation for women in music and news broadcasting.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said;
“A key goal of mine as a Minister is to further gender equality within every sector under my remit, and to collaborate closely with my government colleagues to drive change across other key departments.
“Young girls cannot aim to be what they cannot see or hear. There needs to be a significant improvement in the ratio of women to men on radio and TV so that both genders feel represented in public discourse as well as better representation of women in music on our airwaves. This week, I have brought measures to cabinet that will promote gender balance in both current affairs and music.”
Research by the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Why Not Her? have found significant disparities in the gender balance on Irish radio and television, with female artists receiving less airtime and female voices less likely to be heard in discussions.
Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Vice-Chair of the Select Committee for Gender Equality added;
“In order to achieve an equal Ireland for every woman, we must reassess the social norms, attitudes and barriers across society, and that includes female representation in the media. We simply don’t hear as many female voices and perspectives as men’s on our news broadcasts, public commentary and even the music we listen to and that needs to change. My colleague Minister Martin, will be introducing measures into law that will help make gender parity in broadcasting a reality.”
The Online Safety and Media Regulations Bill is designed to replace the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the new Coimisiún na Meán. The Bill passed through the Seanad in July and completed Second Stage in the Dáil three weeks ago. Committee Stage is scheduled for the 25th and 26th October.
There needs to be a significant improvement in the ratio of women to men on radio and TV so that both genders feel represented in public discourse as well as better representation of women in music on our airwaves.