A Fine Gael senator has said it is disappointing that a rally organised by the National Women's Council ahead of International Women's Day has excluded speakers from women of the Green Party, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

The "No Woman Left Behind" rally is due to take place on 5 March outside Leinster House, ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Regina Doherty described the decision as juvenile and counterproductive.

She said women are not competition for each other and that working together is more impactful.

Ms Doherty said she has a fundamental problem that an organisation that is nearly entirely funded by the State and whose mission statement is to empower and unite women has chosen to exclude some women.

She said the NWC is not tolerant of the views of all women.

Ms Doherty acknowledged that not enough has been done to help victims of sexual and domestic violence and that people are frustrated with the lack of progress.

However, she said that she personally has a "long list" of things that she did in order to help victims and women when she sat around the Cabinet table.

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'Regrettable' there is no Government speakers

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said she thinks it is "regrettable" that there are no Government speakers at the National Women's Council event, but she is "very clear" in her belief that they need to work together.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, she said the amount of work that she is doing in her own role with the NWC "is huge".

"I think we need to look at what our objectives are here," she said. "That includes all members of all parties across all of Government."

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith, who is one of the speakers at the event, said she did not believe it was appropriate for people who belong to political parties that cut services for victims of violence to speak at the rally.

She said she will be there to speak on behalf of PBP and that she will not boycott any platform because of the politics of the women who share it with her.

Labour's Ivana Bacik said it is a matter for the National Women's Council of Ireland "who they invite to speak at their events".

The Dublin Bay South TD, who has been invited, said: "I agree with the cause of the rally and as a long-standing feminist campaigner I support the work of the NWCI and other civil society groups advocating for women's rights."

A spokesperson for Sinn Féin said "it's a matter for the National Women’s Council who they invite to speak at events, or not".

The National Women's Council said it is organising the protest rally to "bring together women from across Ireland on key issues women face".

"We believe this is a crucial time for the Government to listen to what women have to say," a spokesperson said in a statement.

"We engage with Government politicians every day and have had numerous events every year in NWC where Government ministers are opening the event and Government TDs and Senators are speaking on panels.

"This is one moment of protest and we welcome all politicians including Government to hear what needs to change for women."