We awoke today to the harrowing news of the murder of 30 year old Nadine Lott. A man has been arrested in connection with the murder. This brings to 6 the number of women murdered in Ireland so far in 2019.

It is a sobering fact that the most dangerous place for a woman is in her own home. 

Since 1993, 230 women have been killed in Ireland. 1 in 10 of these women were killed in their homes, by someone known to them. Last year, 19,089 contacts were made with Women’s Aid. This does not even accurately reflect the real numbers, as we know that the greater number of women do not actually report their abuse.

There is no doubt that Irish society is failing women, along with the children who grow up bearing witness to this abuse.

Our government fails women with the cuts they’ve made to domestic violence refuges and to Women’s Aid. The rape crisis centre has shockingly had its funding cut in half over the last decade.

The government fails women through lower wages, lower pensions, locking in women’s economic reliance on male partners.

They fail women by allowing the housing crisis to continue- forcing many women to stay in unsafe and unhappy domestic situations, or risk homelessness. 

Irish society fails women by not teaching consent in schools, by allowing the bulk of young men’s sex education to come from porn, the internet, video games, and movies.

We fail women by allowing the perpetuation of harmful gender roles- of the male breadwinner, the ‘head’ of the household, whose family is an extension of himself and his property.

We fail women by maintaining a culture of silence around domestic situations, by treating what happens in the family as a ‘private matter’, and by failing to challenge toxic, or sexist behaviour when we see it.

The media fails women by centering narratives of the ‘quiet family man’ who just ‘snapped’ , as was highlighted in 2016 after the murder of Clodagh Hawe, sparking the hashtag #hernamewasclodagh.

We took a huge step forward for the lives of women in this country, by repealing the 8th amendment in 2018.

There, we started to undo the claims staked by church and state over the bodies of women, and we must hope that this shift will be reflected in changing attitudes to women’s autonomy and freedom over the next generation.

But there is still a very long way to go.

The government can pay as much lip service as they like, but the truth is that until they fund domestic refuges and rape crisis centres, until they ensure decent and affordable housing for all, until women are paid proper wages, and good state run childcare is available, women will continue to have less economic power, leaving them vulnerable and reliant on male partners.

Nadine Lott and her daughter deserved so much better than this. 

RIP.

It’s our future, our voice! Every day, we wake up to more news of the trouble we’re in, the destruction of our planet, the worst housing crisis in the history of the state. My generation didn’t make these decisions yet, we are the ones who are left to deal with the disastrous consequences. I can’t tell how depressing it feels, to be facing into a future where i have no hope of ever owning a home, where if I choose to become a parent, i will likely be pressured out of the workforce by astronomical childcare costs- at €700 euro pm, they are the highest in Europe! To have a home, a family, and a decent standard of living are rights that everybody deserves, yet my generation are left in complete precarity, unable to move into these stages of life. You can get depressed about it, or you can recognise that we have the power to change things. And that’s what I've chosen to do. I was a Together for Yes co-ordinator for the Pembroke area that helped to secure one of the highest YES votes for Repeal in the whole country. I have been part of the vibrant climate movement that we have seen in the past year. I set up a campaign called I Welcome, to raise awareness about the appalling institutional racism of the Direct provision system. I was part of the Take Back the City campaign, and the National Housing and Homeless Coalition- we are building a housing movement that is steadily growing, with another national protest called for May 18th. I am tired of being represented by conservative men. In this area, for example, one councillor, Dermot Lacey, has been on the council for 26 years. We need to break from the current set- up, where councillors enjoy cosy positions and the perks that come with it, and so, will never truly challenge the system. I have no interest in going on junkets. I have no interest in sitting on quangos. I am interested in one thing- fighting for my future, and for the future of the planet. It is time to put a young radical woman into Dublin City Council! The change that began with Repeal is here to stay.

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