With the Starz period drama back on our screens County Monaghan Balfe talks about gender equality and celebrates Harvey Weinstein's conviction.

Caitriona Balfe is back on US screens each Sunday now that her hugely popular Starz show Outlander has unveiled its fifth season, and the Co. Monaghan-bred star says she’s proud of how the historical drama handles its sex scenes between her character, Claire, and Jamie, her Scottish Highlander husband.

The chemistry between Claire and Jamie, played by Sam Heughan, is supposed to be off the charts, and the show’s producers – not to mention Caitriona and Sam – are intent that their intimate scenes show them as equal partners.

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“I think a lot of typical sex scenes on TV were, very much, showing the female body and, generally, it’s through the pleasure of the man; the male experience and all of that. I think we do, rather than being solely a female gaze, what I think we do really beautifully is show a couple balanced and equally appreciating and enjoying each other, and we tell it from both perspectives,” newlywed Caitriona, 40 – she married her Irish beau Tony McGill last year -- told Entertainment Weekly.

“And I think that that’s what’s been unique about our show, is that we give equal time to each half of these couples. It’s important to show female pleasure, to show male pleasure, to show both.”

Caitriona also spoke about how women have been portrayed in the past – not always great – and that achieving balance is key.

“I think as much as we can all agree that this objectification of women, typically by men, has not been the greatest thing for women, we have to be careful and not become the other and start objectifying men in a way that’s not appreciative and respectful,” she added.

The Irish actress is all about female empowerment and was one of the zillions who cheered last week’s Harvey Weinstein verdict.

“Good news from yesterday. It doesn’t seem like those corrupt people in positions of power often get the justice they deserve but at least in this case justice has prevailed. I think of all the survivors of his abuse and how brave and strong they have had to be,” she tweeted to her 425K Twitter followers.

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