Irish Prime Minister visits all-male St. Mary’s Monastery in Ethiopia. Our research shows support for his actions.
Our most recent piece of research at Academy Opinions asked communications specialists if it was right for the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to enter the all-male St Mary’s Monastery in Axum, Ethiopia, on a recent official visit.
The overwhelming response from the survey was YES (51.9%). The NO response amounted to just 17.3%, leaving a whopping 30.8% of respondents who “don’t know”.
What was surprising, however, was the level of anger or resignation.
The YES side.
When asked to offer advice, those who said YES offered the following reasons:
We have gone overboard on equality balance….
This was not the time to make a stand for gender equality…..
When in Rome…
There must have been a reason why the ambassador accepted this situation….
Entering does NOT imply approval of the policy….
The optics back home weren’t great, but he was ultimately respectful of something people hold sacred…
It’s just too easy to go with the politically correct answer….
That is very far from a resounding support of his position and a belief that he did the right thing, isn’t it? There are two elements to this response. The first is resignation, that exhausted air of surrender to the inevitable. The second is a belief that his actions somehow did not mirror his beliefs and he was only behaving as his hosts would have expected (which is a wholly unacceptable reason for doing anything in my view!).
The NO side.
The 17.3% who were on the NO side were firmly of the opinion that he was wrong, and there was a lot of anger in their responses as well:
He insulted women….
Far better off at home sorting out the homeless problem….
Should not have been on his itinerary…
He should have demonstrated inclusivity not exclusivity….
He was once himself a marginalised sector…
I am 66 yrs. old and for the first time in my life I am this disillusioned….
Gender equality. Stay in front of it…..
Set expectations in advance, exclude all of his male entourage too and then do an “Enda at the White House” speech afterwards….
He is honouring the ridiculous concept that men came first with Jesus and therefore women should be barred from the important religious places. (Look at the mess the world is in because of such ideas)….
You can feel the palpable anger when you read these comments. The NO side very strongly and in very clear terms objected to his entering the temple.
The Don’t Know’s.
The don’t knows (30.8%) mostly said that they were confused and unsure about what was the right thing to do. It’s an honest opinion from people who possibly didn’t pay a huge amount of attention to the issue at the time, and honestly felt ill-equipped to offer a thoughtful opinion. You must respect that.
I am really surprised by this poll. An air of resignation permeates the yes side, there is a palpable level of anger on the no side, and perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is the number of people who paid so little attention to this issue.
The Academy Opinions Survey was carried out independently by Opinions.ie Market Research