July 7, 2023
Chris MacManus MEP welcomes ‘Women in Leadership’ Delegation to the European Parliament

Chris MacManus MEP welcomes ‘Women in Leadership’ Delegation to the European Parliament
The Delegation including representatives from Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo were guests of the Sinn Féin MEP in Brussels this week
“It was an honour and a privilege to host this ‘Women in Leadership’ Delegation” said Chris MacManus MEP. “It was a thoroughly engrossing couple of days. It was powerful chatting to the delegates while they were with us in Brussels. All leaders in their respective communities and addressing inequality head on every day. Each and every one of them were fantastic ambassadors for their regions and organisations and I am really looking forward to engaging further with everyone as we work on specific projects in the future.”
Many Civil Society groups from throughout the West and Northwest travelled on the delegation including representatives from Aremoja Women’s Group, Comhar Caomhán Teo Inis Oírr (Inis Oírr Community Development Cooperative), Domestic Violence Action Service, Gort Resource Centre, Ionad Naomh Pádraig Dobhar (St Patrick’s community centre in Donegal), Mandate Trade Union, Refugee Book and SIPTU (Early Childhood Education sector)
Throughout the two day engagement the delegation which included representation from Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo, took part in a packed schedule that began with a visit to the EU Parlamentarium; an interactive exhibition on the inner workings of the European Parliament. 
The delegation then took part in a tour of the Parliament’s visitor centre and Parliamentary Hemicycle Chamber which featured a presentation and Q&A from a parliament representative followed by a short talk from host Chris MacManus MEP. 
On day 2 of the Women’s Conference Delegation to Brussels the focus was a Roundtable Discussion in the European Parliament.  Following an initial Introduction by MacManus, the Midlands Northwest MEP, gave the floor to Greet Vermeylen, of DG JUST, European Commission who gave a general overview of EU action on gender issues. In a section entitled “Combatting gender-based violence”, the room heard from MEP Frances Fitzgerald, lead MEP negotiator for the Domestic Violence Directive and Delegate Nike Ogen, Domestic Violence Action Service and Diversity Sligo. 
Charlotte Balavoine, The Left Group’s advisor to the Gender Equality Committee presented “Left perspectives on gender issues” which included the contribution of Anna Schröder, Head of the EU office of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.
The morning session concluded with a section on “Women running for political office”, which featured a talk by Alyssa Ahrabare, Advocacy and Legal Officer of the European Network of Migrant Women and coordinator of the EU-funded project AGENCY: Vote with You. Alyssa’s contribution was followed by Delegate Rosaleen Lally, who works for the Irish Wheelchair Association and has been selected as a local election candidate for Sinn Féin in Belmullet, Co. Mayo.
After the break the second section of the roundtable focused on Intersectionality, commencing with Disability rights and gender issues featuring contributions from both Catherine Naughton, Director of the European Disability Forum and Sligo’s Aisling Smith.
The subsequent presentation on Labour rights and gender began with a video link with Isabelle Schömann, Deputy Secretary General at the European Trade Union Confederation who was followed by Galway Delegate Deborah Reynolds, a SIPTU representative for the early childhood education who also involved in the Big Start campaign to secure better pay for workers in early years education. 
The final scheduled presentation focused on Community development through a gender perspective. Delegate Anne Rozario, of Gort Resource Centre in County Galway opened the session before a contribution from fellow Delegate Chloe O’Malley, Comhar Caomhán Teo Inis Oírr (Inis Oirr Community Development Cooperative). Chloe who lives on the Aran Islands, is promoting better policy and funding support for the islands. She is also a board member of Galway Domestic Violence Response.
The conference concluded with an engaging Question and Answer session which also gave an opportunity to many delegation members to raise specific issues for their organisations and regions. David Kerr from the cabinet of Commissioner Dalli was also in attendance to answer questions specific to the Commission’s competencies, before some closing words and gratitudes from Chris MacManus MEP.
Speaking after the conference MacManus said, “It has been a very busy two days, but incredibly worthwhile. Each and every delegate brought something different to the table. These delegations are so vital to informing my work in the European Parliament, whilst giving Civil Society Groups from my constituency direct access to the European Institutions.”
The Sinn Féin MEP concluded by thanking the members of the delegation. “It was great to be able to host this delegation. I feel like we have covered a lot of important issues this week. I’d like to sincerely thank every delegate for their attendance and indeed my own team here in Brussels and at home for organising what was a very successful delegation.” ENDS

Below: Donegal delegates from left to right: Erin Toland , Chris MacManus MEP (Delegation Host) , Mary Coyle at the European Parliament

fbb36654-0276-8ee4-fd7e-7ceba5a86fb5.jpgBelow: Leitrim delegates from left to right: Joanne Curnan , Chris MacManus MEP (Delegation Host), Mary McGirl

Below: Galway delegates from left to right: Fiona Bradley, Deborah Reynolds,  Chris MacManus MEP (Delegation Host) , Annie Rozario , Aisling Bishop

Below: Roscommon delegates from left to right: Andrea Walsh, Leah Cull , Chris MacManus MEP (Delegation Host), Kate Cunningham

Below: Mayo delegates from left to right: Chloe O Malley, Donna Hyland, Chris MacManus MEP (Delegation Host), Rosaleen Lally , Una Morris


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