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Minister Josepha Madigan launches gender equality policies of ten Irish theatre organisations

Minister Josepha Madigan launches gender equality policies of ten Irish theatre organisations.

On the 9th July 2018 at The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD launched Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre;

The policy documents crafted to encompass the individual workings and requirements of ten theatre organisations were a result of one and half year’s work. Gender Equality in Practice in Irish Theatre began after #WakingTheFeminists drew international attention to the gender inequality that then existed within Irish theatre. This cultural phenomenon encouraged the participating theatre organisations to consider their own record in programming and supporting women within the sector and identify processes that would ensure gender parity and dignity at work in the future.

The participating Theatre Organisations are:

  • The Abbey Theatre 
  • Cork Midsummer Festival
  • Corn Exchange Theatre Company
  • Druid Theatre
  • Everyman Palace Theatre
  • Dublin Theatre Festival
  • Fishamble: The New Play Company
  • The Gate Theatre 
  • The Lir National Academy for Dramatic Art
  • Rough Magic Theatre Company

Gender Policy Statements – to be launched

Each gender policy statement has been ratified by the boards of the organisations and each organisation has undertaken to measure their progress against their published targets on an annual basis using the #WakingTheFeminists Gender Counts guidelines.

Included in the list of measures are the following

1) Gender blind readings for plays
2) Unconscious bias training for all staff
3) Achieve equality of gender of board members
4) 50% of a new play commissions to be allocated to women writers
5) Gender blind casting
6) Addition of Dignity at Work clauses to employees charter
7) Re-examination of the female canon
8) Work with third level institution to encourage gender parity in areas that do not reflection equality of gender.
9) To achieve gender balance in programming within a 5 year period.

In her address Minister Madigan said that

“The 10 theatre companies involved in the working group have come together to demonstrate the power of collaboration within the Cultural sector in Ireland, to share expertise, support and learnings and enhance the possibilities for women in the Irish theatre sector. It is vital that women’s voices are allowed to reverberate on stage, across the cultural sector and across society as a whole”

“I hope that these statements will build dialogue across the cultural sector and beyond. The theatre organisations here today are pioneering what I hope will be standard practice across the sector, and across society as a whole. I am delighted that my Department has supported such a worthwhile initiative and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this”

Minister Madigan concluded.