Nessa Childers is an Irish Labour Party politician who is currently a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East constituency.
She has an Arts and Psychology degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and a postgraduate diploma from University College Dublin. She is the daughter of the fourth President of Ireland, Erskine H. Childers and his second wife, Rita Childers.
Nessa is a former councillor for the Green Party in Blackrock in south Dublin in Ireland. She was elected in 2004 and resigned from her seat in August 2008 to run for the Labour Party in the East constituency at the 2009 European Parliament election. Clearly she is a woman, who knows how to raise her voice and now she is doing it in support of all girls.
Because I am a girl I ask…. am I an awkward piece of a jigsaw? Where do I fit in? But I can decide that myself.
Because I am a girl I believe… that every human being is to be valued simply because they are alive.
Because I am a girl I hope… that other girls can fight their way through the brambles of discrimination. Political life is not an easy place for women. In Ireland only 13% of elected representatives are women. I am lucky to be one of them.
Because I am a girl I wonder… what it would be like to have grown up in a different time and place which was easier for us.
Because I am a girl I dream… that my daughter will go wherever she wants in life, but wish that even more for girls growing up in developing nations where they may face starvation and disease and who die during childbirth.
Because I am a girl I remember… my mother. A woman way ahead of her time. Who became a career woman when women simply didn’t have them. Who married because she wanted to, not because it was socially acceptable (Rita Childers: 1915-2010)
I also remember my father who never expected us to conform to the social norms of our time. This was hugely unusual for a man in those days.
Because I am a girl I dislike… having to be better at things because I am a woman. Or worse having to become an honorary male! I dislike divisive behaviour which pits mothers who work inside the home with those who work outside. Some of the people who do this are women.
Because I am a girl I feel… nervous about putting my thoughts out in public like this. What will people think? When I was psychotherapist I often noticed how women cared such a lot about what others thought of them. And that they carried a burden of guilt.
- Nessa Childers