News & Events

For news relating to 2018 and earlier, please see the Archive pages.


Wednesday 11 December 2019

Launch of second report of Balance for Better Business Review Group

Today, Wednesday 11 December 2019, Balance for Better Business launched its second report reiterating its call for Irish companies to rapidly address the low levels of female representation on their Boards and outlining new targets for senior leadership teams of listed companies, as well as the Boards and leadership teams of large Irish-owned private companies.

For further details and a link to the report please see the Press Release.

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Government launches consultation on Flexible Working under Future Jobs Ireland

Today, 11 December 2019, the Government launched a consultation seeking the public’s views on flexible working as part of Future Jobs Ireland, the whole of Government plan to prepare businesses and workers for the future. This consultation is being undertaken to seek views from employers, employees, trades unions and the wider public on the types of flexible working arrangements currently in place and the changes that they wish to see. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on the 31/01/2020.

For further details please see the Press Statement.

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Ministers Donohoe and Stanton launch first report of the 'Balance for Better Business' Initiative

Today, Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Pascal Donohoe TD, and  Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, launched the first report of the Balance for Better Business Review Group led by co-chairs Bríd Horan and Gary Kennedy. The Group has set targets of 33% female directors for ISEQ 20 companies by 2023 and 25% for all other Irish listed companies.

For further details please see the Press Statement. The report is available for download at

Wednesday 29 May 2019

IHREC Student Bursary Scheme 2019

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has launched the fourth year of its student bursary scheme for prospective students of the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), a one-year, part-time programme that has been developed by IHREC in conjunction with the IPA. The application process is now open. The closing date for applications is Friday 21 June 2019 at 5pm. Full details are available from IHREC at

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Vacancies at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is recruiting a Head of Operations and a Procurement Assistant. Both positions are based in Vilnius, Lithuania. For further details, please see the notifications on EIGE's recruitment page.

Thursday 23 May 2019

New Survey on Gender Balance in Business

New statistics on gender balance in business leadership were released today by the Central Statistics Office. The survey, conducted for the first time in 2019, provides statistics on gender representation at the most senior levels in large enterprises in Ireland. Among its findings were that the gender composition of large companies' boards was 20% women and 80% men, 7% of the chairpersons of such boards were women, and 28% of senior executives  in large companies were women. The survey was conducted in response to the Balance for Better Business initiative and it aims to provide benchmark information on gender representation. The CSO plans to repeat this survey every two years to track future trends.

For further details please see the CSO Press Statement and release: Gender Balance in Business Survey 2019

Monday 20 May 2019

"No Excuses" national awareness campaign on sexual harassment and sexual violence

A major national awareness campaign on sexual harassment and sexual violence was launched by Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, on Thursday 9 May 2019. The advertisements direct viewers to the campaign website, which provides further information as well as advice on how to help in such situations. The campaign features radio, TV, cinema, outdoor, social and digital advertising and is being run by Cosc – the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, which is part of the Department of Justice and Equality. The campaign is part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021. ‘No Excuses’ follows the domestic violence awareness campaign ‘whatwouldyoudo?’ which ran for three years from 2016 to 2018. For further details please see the press release and campaign website.

On 14 May, Minister Flanagan announced that he was commissioning an independent specialist in-depth research study on the provision of supports to families who are victims of familicide and on international best practice in the conduct of Domestic Homicide Reviews, to be led by Ms Norah Gibbons. Further details are provided in the following press release.

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Ministers Flanagan and Stanton announce the phased introduction of 8 weeks additional Parental Leave

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, and his colleague, the Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, are pleased to announce the phased introduction of 8 weeks additional parental leave following the passing of Government amendments to the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017 in the Seanad this evening. This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Deputy Roisin Shortall and Deputy Catherine Murphy, which seeks to amend the Parental Leave Act 1998 in order to extend the period of unpaid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks and to allow any parent who has already availed of their current entitlement of 18 weeks to receive a further eight weeks of parental leave.

For further details, please see the press release.

Monday 11 March 2019

Ratification of Istanbul Convention among measures announced on International Women's Day

Following a special Cabinet meeting held on 8 March 2019 to mark International Women’s Day, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, announced Ireland’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). Ireland signed the Convention in November 2015. While much of Irish legislation and administrative practice already implemented many of the provisions prior to signing, a number of pieces of legislation and other actions needed to be carried out before formal ratification could take place. These outstanding actions were identified in an action plan in October 2015 and included in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, which was published in January 2016.

New developments in promoting greater gender equality across a range of areas were also announced. These included agreement on the text of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill which would be published shortly, steps being taken to address gender imbalances in Board positions, both on State Boards and on Corporate Boards, and publication of the progress report on the first year of implementation of the National Strategy for Women and Girls.

 For further details, please see the following press releases on the Istanbul Convention, new measures, and the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill.

Monday 11 March 2019

Ireland’s chairing of the UN Commission for the Status of Women

Ambassador Byrne Nason is to chair the 63rd session of the UN Commission for the Status of Women (CSW) which opens this morning, 11 March 2019, in New York. Also attending as head of the Irish delegation is Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD.

The Commission for the Status of Women was established in 1946 as a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide. In March 2017, Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN was elected by acclamation as Chair of the 45-member Commission for its sessions in 2018 and 2019. The priority theme for the 63rd session, which concludes on 22 March 2019, will focus on social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Commission will also review progress made in regard to women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development, a theme last discussed at its 60th session.

During the session in New York, selected discussions are broadcast live and may be viewed online at UN WebTV. Further information about the Commission's work and the forthcoming session is available on the UN Women website and from Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.

For updates on Twitter, please see: #CSW63; also @IrishMissionUN @DeptJusticeIRL and @HumanRightsIRL

Monday 11 March 2019

EU public consultation on gender equality in the EU rules

On International Women's Day, 8 March 2019, the European Commission launched a public consultation to seek views concerning gender equality in the EU at present as well as future priorities. For further information about this consultation, which is open for submissions until 31 May, please see the following consultation page.

Monday 14 January 2019

EU public consultation on impact of EU rules on equal pay 

On 11 January 2019, the European Commission launched a public consultation to gather information on the impact of EU rules on equal pay. The consultation is open until 5 April 2019.

For information on making a submission, please see the following online consultation page.
More information from the European Commission on equal pay and the gender pay gap can be found on the Commission's website.


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