Trócaire Gender Equality Lenten Campaign

Trócaire, the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, has encountered resistance in response to this year’s Lenten campaign focusing on gender equality. The 30 second TV advert, featuring young female babies, has been regarded as too political for public broadcast. A voiceover explains why we’re seeing rows and rows of babies: “These babies have been born with something that affects more people than malaria, cancer, or even HIV and AIDS. Because of it many of them will be denied an education and condemned to a life of poverty. Thousands of them will be killed. Millions more will be victimised and abused. Because all of these babies have one thing in common: they’re female.” The super: “Help end gender inequality”.

Babies in Trocaire TV Lent Campaign Ad for gender equality

Click on the image below to play the video.

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI), after receiving concerns from Today FM, ordered radio and TV stations to take the 30-second commercial off-air. It has now been pulled from more than 20 radio stations and a number of TV stations. Trócaire suspects that the real offence was in a petition on its website lobbying the Government to implement UN equality initiatives.

Trócaire, which means “Compassion” in the Irish language, draws its inspiration from Scripture and the social teaching of the Catholic Church. The agency strives to promote human development and social justice in line with Gospel values. Trócaire was given a dual mandate: to support long-term development projects overseas and to provide relief during emergencies; and at home to inform the Irish public about the root causes of poverty and injustice and mobilise the public to bring about global change. Its work is also influenced by the experiences and the hopes of the poor and oppressed. Trócaire supports communities in their efforts to improve their lives, meet their basic needs and ensure their human dignity.

Trocaire includes some interesting facts on gender, in anticipation of International Womens Day, March 8:

  • 70 per cent of people living in poverty and 66 per cent of those who can’t read or write are women.
  • Worldwide, women earn 69 per cent of male wages. There is no country where women earn the same as men.
  • A total of 70 per cent of refugees and displaced people are women.
  • Women are more vulnerable than men in conflict and are more often victims of violence
  • Women produce nearly 80 per cent of the food on the planet, but receive less than 10 per cent of agricultural assistance
  • In 2006, more than twice as many young women were living with HIV as young men

This story via Irish Examiner