In the Sunday Business Post, at the weekend, Elaine Byrne wrote about how, at 3am one morning, two men chased her in an attempt to attack her.
Recalling the event, Ms Byrne wrote:
The gardaí came. They said I shouldn’t be out so late and dropped me home.
I never really told anyone about this incident. The narrative would have been predictable. Were you drinking? “No.” Well, you should have known better anyway. You shouldn’t have been out so late. What were you wearing? Somehow, it would have become my fault. I was wrong. What did I expect at that hour of the night? There was no Garda report, no incident recorded for the statistics. Nothing.
Ms Byrne added:
I sat through my friend’s rape trial. I watched her on the stand being cross-examined by a barrister and heard him say the most disgusting line I have ever heard in the English language.
“Your injuries are consistent with the straddling of a gate. Did you straddle a gate?”
Because that’s what women do for fun. We straddle gates.
Graphs in the Higher Education Authority’s National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institution, published today
An expert group commissioned by the Higher Education Authority – and chaired by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn – reviewed gender equality, or lack thereof, within Ireland’s third-level institutions.
Publishing its report today, the group states it recommends that:
– Each higher education institution introduce mandatory quotas for academic promotion, based on the flexible cascade model where the proportion of women and men to be promoted/recruited is based on the proportion of each gender at the grade immediately below.
– Gender equality is identified as a national priority and key system objective in the Higher Education System Performance Framework.
– Agreed targets and indicators of success are included in higher education institutions’ compacts with the HEA. Funding will, therefore, be linked to institutions’ performance, and will be withheld if they fail to meet agreed targets.
– In so far as possible, the final pool of candidates at the final selection step in the appointment process for new presidents of higher education institutions will be comprised equally of women and men.
– All candidates for presidential appointments at higher education institutions will have demonstrable experience of leadership in advancing gender equality, and this will be included in the recruitment criteria.
– Each institution will appoint a vice-president for equality, who will be a full academic member of the executive management team and who will report directly to the president.
– Key decision-making bodies (concerned with resource allocation, appointments and promotions) in higher education institutions will consist of at least 40% women and at least 40% men.
– The recruitment and promotion procedures currently used by higher education institutions will be reviewed to ensure they are gender-sensitive.
– Higher education institutions will apply for and achieve an Athena SWAN institutional award within three years. Within seven years, research-funding agencies will require institutions to have attained an Athena SWAN silver institutional award to be eligible for funding. (Athena SWAN is a system of awards – granted at bronze, silver and gold levels – to recognise institutions and departments for progress in addressing gender inequality).
– The HEA will establish a comprehensive database of staff in higher education institutions to provide an evidence base for monitoring progress in addressing gender inequality.
– A national committee to support gender equality in higher education will be established by the HEA, in partnership with the Irish University Association and Institutes of Technology Ireland.