Mar 8, 2022

Sexism Within Irish Culture 

1.  Activate and Empower the Sporting Community. 

Sporting clubs are very influential in their local communities, and we want to equip these groups to become stronger leaders in the fight against sexism and misogyny.

We are calling upon the country’s biggest sporting groups - the Gaelic Athletics Association, the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Football Association of Ireland - to commit to an annual Bystander Intervention Training Day at a club level.

This should help young people call out sexist comments, the illegal spread of intimate images and predatory or intimidating behaviour among their peers. We want to ensure that local Irish communities see ending sexism as a team effort that everyone can play their part in.

2. Consent Support for Primary Schools

We must empower children to express and recognise boundaries. We ask all primary school teachers to explain consent in the context of respecting other children’s property, personal space and additional needs in the context of disability. This would promote a more conscientious mindset that would recognise inappropriate behaviour. 

Specialised discussions centred around physical contact boundaries should be delivered in a sensitive manner, to aid children in recognising and disclosing events of sex abuse and domestic abuse, past or present, to their parents or teachers. 

Children being familiar with consent in day to day practice will give them the confidence to follow their intuition and empower them to say ‘no’ when in uncomfortable settings. This provides the fundamental tools required to engage with consent as young adults. 

3.  Relationship and Sexuality Education 

All young adults should receive a fully comprehensive consent-oriented sex education in secondary school. 

We implore the government to meet their commitment to provide “inclusive and age-appropriate RSE and SPHE curricula across primary and post primary levels, including an inclusive programme on LGBTI+ relationships and making appropriate legislative changes, if necessary.” 

Under the current curriculum, too much emphasis has been placed upon the biological aspects of sex education, and not enough on consent, queer inclusivity and safe sex. Students must understand what constitutes a healthy relationship, fully understand active consent and be informed of the support services available to them.

We insist the Minister for Education ensures a fully comprehensive relationship and sexuality education programme is ready to roll out for all students in second level by the academic year of 2024.