The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced that a National Conference on Women in Farming will take place in the coming months.

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois, the minister said:

“Gender equality is a priority for me and the government. The significant contribution of women to the agri-food sector in Ireland has not always been afforded the recognition it deserves and I have been working to address that issue.

“The convening of a national conference provides an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input on how to increase the visibility and status of women in agriculture.”

Continuing, the minister said: “I am delighted that former Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan will chair the upcoming National Conference on Women in Agriculture.

“Her expertise and experience equip her to lead for positive change on gender in the agri-food sector.”

The department stated that women account for some 13% of all farm holders in Ireland. At the same time, Central Statistics Office (CSO) data shows there are approximately 75,000 female farm workers in Ireland. This points to over 58,000 women working in farming without visibility and without status as a farm holder, according to the department.

The minister also highlighted specific supports in the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to support women farmers carry out investments on their farms.

Gender equality is one of the core principles of the European Union and a cross-cutting objective of the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) 2023-2027.

Ireland’s new CAP Strategic Plan, which was recently approved by the European Commission, includes supports to promote gender equality and greater participation by women in farming.