Waterford woman to take over Taoiseach’s office for first time today 1 week ago

Waterford woman to take over Taoiseach’s office for first time today

She's changing history.

A young woman from Waterford is set to make history today as she takes over the Taoiseach’s office for the first time ever.

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Marking International Day of the Girl 2021, 19 year old Mairéad Butler is taking over the office, which has never been done by a woman before.

Currently studying European studies, Mairéad is a member of Plan International Ireland’s Youth Advisory Panel.

Plan International’s Girls Takeover has events going on all over the world to honour the big day, giving young women and girls a chance to get experience as leaders in politics, business, and other sectors, especially those traditionally dominated by men.

Mairéad will speak with Taoiseach Micheal Martin about the challenges that women and girls still face in Ireland and about the results of the Youth Advisory Panel’s recent research around the extent of sexual and reproductive health misinformation young people are exposed to in Ireland and its impact on women.

The research in the KnoWhere To Go report showed that 85% of more than 500 young people have come across sexual health misinformation.

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Mairéad is also set to express Plan International’s appreciation for Ireland’s commitment to gender equality and inclusive education for girls with its humanitarian work abroad.

Speaking ahead of the Girls Takeover event, Mairéad told BreakingNews.ie: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to ‘take over’ Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s office today. To be frank, it’s not good enough in 2021 to say that no woman has ever held the office of Taoiseach — I hope girls across the country will see this and be able to envision themselves in this office one day!”

Mairéad will also speak to the Taoiseach about tomorrow's Budget and Ireland's progress of spending 0.7 per cent of GNI on overseas aid by 2030.

She added: “The Youth Advisory Panel carried out research over the summer, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to present the findings to the Taoiseach today. Most concerning were the responses we received about consent, contraception and LGBTI+ identities.

“The reality is that when young people are not armed with the right info on sexual and reproductive health, girls and young women are at particular risk of being subjected to sexual and gender-based violence and early pregnancy. We are adding our voice to those who have been calling for reform of the RSE curriculum for years now and are also asking for peer-led education and a centralised resource to be made available.”

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