The GAA and women

 

Sir, – Orla Muldoon tells it like it is regarding the GAA and women (“The GAA is institutionally misogynistic”, Opinion & Analysis, December 30th).

But what can women do to improve matters? Quite a lot, I’d say.

Prof Muldoon has hinted that we can remind sponsors that women are customers too, and they should be aware that women will not be well disposed toward their products and services if they don’t appreciate that women should be respected in the sports they sponsor.

And the most important sponsor of sport, the Government, should also be reminded that women’s taxes fund sport as much as men’s taxes do.

The campaign for equality must also be felt at club level, and courage will be needed for women to assert their rights in the intimacy of the smaller rural clubs.

It’s a chance, too, for fair-minded men to have the courage to resist the old ways of “men first” for pitch allocation and other facilities.

Unless women themselves challenge the status quo, they will continue to be marginalised.

Forget the old excuses; women deserve and demand equality. – Yours, etc,

SHEILA

DEEGAN,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – I began to read Orla Muldoon’s article with some optimism that it might contain constructive suggestions for how to improve the standing of camogie and ladies football – two compelling games with a rapidly growing following.

However, I was soon disappointed as the article descended into academic jargon and unhelpful generalisations.

I am part of a coaching team for football and camogie for girls. At the best of times, we struggle with numbers. There are lots of other activities and distractions – ballet, hockey, soccer, swimming, and gymnastics. It can be difficult to get the parents to commit. And now we have an article in the paper of record about how this whole endeavour is institutionally misogynistic. This will not help me or my coaching colleagues to persuade those parents that their daughters should continue with their training.

If I may, I would urge parents to ignore this article, and continue to send their girls to training in their local GAA clubs, where they will make friends, learn skills, build resilience and, most importantly, have fun.

At the same time, parents should lobby constructively with their clubs, county boards, and TDs for more funding and resources for football and camogie. – Yours, etc,

LENNON Ó NÁRAIGH,

Bray, Co Wicklow.