President Michael D Higgins has said that while Ireland is a good place for women, equality has not yet been fully achieved.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Ryan Tubridy Show on International Women's Day, he said with all these equality debates, it is not just women that lose, society does too.

"It is just a healthier society when you have equality of participation, we are not fully there yet in terms of the gap in income and relation to pensions.

"We are really going to have to, in the decade to come, accept the redefinition of work that recognises all the tasks that are vital, and that are not sufficiently recognised."

Speaking about the successes in achieving equality to date he said: "It is just important to emphasise none of these rights fell from the sky. Campaigns had to be fought and won."

During the interview, he commended both his female predecessors, who he said made significant contributions.

He also spoke of "recent exclusions" of former president Mary McAleese from a Catholic women's conference and said he is deeply concerned and upset about this. 

"I was deeply concerned and upset at recent exclusions of her. I think she is a very important person in speaking on matters that for her matter and for so many people matter, of a spiritual significance, not just on a spiritual significance, but in terms of a right to believe."

Referring to the 'Me Too' Movement, he said it is important but it is not the full story because its roots are in abuse of power and "expressed in so many ways".

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