Question Time: ‘What would you put in your political manifesto?’

Inspired by Caitlin Moran’s new book Moranifesto, The Women’s Podcast wants to hear about your manifesto

 

Each week The Women’s Podcast asks listeners a question and this week, our presenter Kathy Sheridan took inspiration from British feminist and author Caitlin Moran who appears on an upcoming episode. Moran’s latest book is called ’Moranifesto’, and she writes in it that everyone should have a manifesto.

“So we want to hear about yours,” says Sheridan. “What would be in your personal or political manifesto? What laws should be introduced and what should be banned? Tell us about the things you would put in your manifesto to make the world a better, more equitable or just happier place”.

A sample from Moran’s manifesto gives a flavour: “The House of Commons to be fully insulated, lined with pine and turned into a sauna ...restoration of the Victorian drinking fountain network, in order to save the 12 billion plastic water bottles thrown away every year ...manifestos being written with the aim of people reading them - this jazzing up to happen by whatever means necessary - forcing JK Rowling to write it, having a nudey picture of Benedict Cumberbatch in the centrefold, impregnating each page with a lickable film of beer. Democracy should be entertaining, hot and alcoholic”.

Email your own manifesto to thewomenspodcast@irishtimes.com or find us on twitter and facebook @itwomenspodcast.

This week’s episode featured highlights from the second public meeting of Waking the Feminists (WTF) movement, recorded at Liberty Hall. The movement exploded last year in response to The Abbey Theatre’s Waking the Nation 1916 programme, which featured the work of only one woman. Highlighting the gender inequality in Irish theatre the WTF hashtag quickly took off around the world with support from major industry figures such as Meryl Streep and Fiona Shaw.

The event featured spokespeople from all seven major theatre companies, including Abbey Theatre board member Loretta Dignam. The Abbey now has a gender equality subcommittee, which is developing a comprehensive gender equality policy and action plan.

The movement’s originator set designer Lian Bell said: “The issue of inequality for women working in theatre is being taken seriously, it’s being listened to. And action is happening, even if it will take a little bit of time…the momentum is going forward and all those companies are going forward with it.”

This week The Women’s Podcast also paid a visit to Áras an Uachtáin to talk to President Michael D Higgins about the UN’s He for She movement and to celebrate the positive and powerful role of men in promoting and supporting women’s rights and equality.

President Higgins talked about gender-based violence and online bullying, but he also addressed the issue of reproductive rights.

He said: “I can’t speak about what might become a matter for a referendum or whatever, but always I think the fundamental is health and discretion in relation to what is the right thing to do.”

President Higgins said he was concerned about poverty and “different measures across Europe in relation to cutbacks in services”. He said women are affected by this more than men and that, in relation to women’s health, “the voice of women, the voice of those who care for women’s health is surely important”.

“No cultural institution or traditional argument should ever be put in the way as a barrier between a woman’s full access to rights,” he added.

President Higgins is one of the Champion World Leaders of the He for She campaign. He hosted an event at Aras An Uachtarain, where Hozier sang Cherry Wine, the proceeds of which will be donated to domestic abuse charities. The song features on the podcast.

The President and his wife Sabina have supported Safe Ireland’s Man Up campaign, which promotes the role men can play in ending domestic violence.

Individual episodes of The Women’s Podcast can be downloaded on Stitcher, iTunes and Soundcloud and can be found on irishtimes.com/podcasts.

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