MEP candidates must commit to closing the triple-lock loop of women’s issues – MEP Walsh

European election candidates must commit to closing the triple-lock loop of women’s issues; care responsibilities, business financing and female healthcare, a Fine Gael MEP has said. 

Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh hosted an event, ‘Thriving Mná’, on Tuesday 28th May in Athlone to mark International Day of Action for Women’s Health. MEP Walsh was joined by special guest Frances Fitzgerald MEP, as well as Lesley Tully, Fintech Founder & CEO of Penny; Annie Costello of CROI & Global Heart Hub; and Deirdre Berry of Esker House. 

Maria Walsh was also joined by Frances Fitzgerald MEP for a canvass around Athlone prior to the event. 

MEP Walsh has been a strong advocate for women in the European Parliament over the past five years. She was a Chief Negotiator on the EU’s Pay Transparency Directive, ensuring equal pay for men and women; a Co-Author of the Revision to the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Directive; and developed the concept of the Female Founders’ Fund to boost investment in female-owned businesses. 

Maria Walsh, MEP for the Midlands-North West, said:

“Women take on the majority of the care responsibilities, are under-financed in business and there’s a dearth of research on female healthcare. If we get this triple-lock loop closed, women will soar.

“Across Europe, the statistics are startling. 75% of informal carers are women. 40% of cancers affecting women could be potentially avoided if prevention and early detection were correctly implemented. And only 2% of venture capital invested in start-ups goes to women, while women make up close to 40% of all European entrepreneurs. 

“As it currently stands, our European Parliament is not reflective of the diversity of our society. 60% of MEPs are men, so we need to ensure that those we send to Europe are strong and influential advocates for women. 

MEP Frances Fitzgerald said:

“If we are to truly live up to the EU’s core values of equality, we must ensure equal access to and equal action when it comes to women’s health. Ensuring availability of screening for breast and lung cancer and access to treatment for cardiovascular disease, all of which affect women increasingly is absolutely essential. So too must the European Union take action on cutting edge areas such as fertility and mental health to ensure the best quality of life for all Europeans. 

“The Fine Gael delegation has advanced this agenda significantly during the previous mandate – I know that if re-elected, Maria Walsh will continue that agenda in the coming five years.”