Wednesday, March 8, 2733

Women's Manifsto Election 2007

Ireland will be a better place when we have:

· more women in positions of decision-making
· zero tolerance of violence against women

· sharing of care and household work

· economic equality between women and men
· equal respect and autonomy for all women, irrespective of diversity and difference

More women in positions of decision-making

What Women Want from the Next Irish Government
At least 40% of women in both houses of the Oireachtas, in political parties, in public appointments, at senior levels of the civil service, and on social partnership structures

Facts and Statistics
· Only 13% of TDs and 19% of local councillors are women
· It will take 370 years for women to gain equal representation, at the current rate of change
· Under 6% of civil servants at Secretary General level are female; while 81% of clerical grade staff are women

Zero tolerance of violence against women

What Women Want from the Next Irish Government
Stronger legislation to protect victims of violence, and to hold those who perpetrate violence against women accountable to the criminal justice system
Adequate funding of services for survivors of violence
Enactment of legislation to prohibit trafficking of women

Facts and Statistics
· One in five women experience significant physical, sexual or psychological abuse in the course of their lives
· 12,244 calls were made to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre in 2005
· 25% of all violent crimes reported involve a man assaulting his wife or partner
· Ireland is currently the only EU country not signed up to the EU Framework Decision on combating trafficking, taking account of the UN Protocol to prevent trafficking

Sharing of care and household work

What Women Want from the Next Irish Government
· One year paid parental leave
· One year’s free early education and childcare place for every child before they attend primary school
· Publicly subsidised childcare to reduce the costs of childcare for all parents
· Full credits for care work and parenting

Facts and statistics
Parents in Ireland pay up to 90% of their childcare costs in comparison to parents in Sweden who pay 20% and Denmark 33%
Ireland remains one of the few countries in the EU with no paid parental leave provision
Low income parents who cannot afford to pay for childcare are often forced to settle for a lower quality of care

Economic equality between women and men

What Women Want from the Next Irish Government
· Elimination of the gender pay gap
· A wage for all carers
· All women on social welfare to receive full payments in their own right
· Flexible, part-time education and training opportunities
· A full contributory pension for all women who spent time out of paid work to care for their children.
· A cost of disability payment

Facts and Statistics
19.9% of women are at risk of poverty
Lone parents face a 42% risk of poverty; and women aged 65 and older have a 45% risk of poverty compared to 34% of men
The gender pay gap in Ireland is 14%
People with disabilities have extra costs, of heating, transport and general day to day living, that are not covered by state assistance

Equal respect and autonomy for all women, irrespective of diversity and difference

What Women Want from the Next Irish Government
· Recognition of the right to family life for all migrants in Ireland.
· A Joint Labour Committee for domestic workers.
· Recognition of Travellers a minority ethnic group in Ireland.
· Equitable access to women’s health services, addressing in particular the needs of older women and socially disadvantaged groups
· Free and regular cervical screening nationwide available to women of all ages
· Free and prompt breast cancer screening for women in all areas of the country
· Legislation to ensure women’s full reproductive rights
· Positive public messages that affirm in women and girls the value of self worth and achievement, and that celebrate diversity

Facts and Statistics
Ireland will need approximately 420,000 new workers from 2001 – 2010, many of whom have and will be recruited from outside Ireland.
The 2006 Census suggests that there are now around 400,000 non-Irish nationals in the Republic representing 9.4% of the total population
The right to family life is of immense importance to many migrants and in particular to migrant women who have been forced to leave their children and families behind when they emigrate to Ireland. This situation places a huge strain particularly on mothers of young children as well as on the children themselves. The right to family life is perhaps the single most important factor in promoting the integration of migrants and their families into Irish society.
Infant mortality rates amongst the Traveller community are 3 times that of the settled community, life expectancy for Traveller women is 12 years less than for settled women and over 3,000Traveller families are currently living on the roadside or in temporary accommodation.
Poverty has a significant negative impact on health. Women from lower socio-economic groups have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, the major cause of death among Irish women.
Older women are at a higher risk of developing cancer and, in Ireland, are much less likely to receive treatment than younger women.
7,000 Irish women choose abortion annually. The decision of the Supreme Court in the X case has yet to be ratified through the introduction of appropriate legislation.


Jizzy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jizzy said...

"Legislation to ensure women’s full reproductive rights"

Sorry but I'm not sure I understand. The term 'reproductive rights' is ambiguous. What are these rights? Are the NWCI in favour of removing the Eighth Amendment from the constitution and legalizing abortion services? I think that most Irish women would be opposed to that.

NWCI said...

Women's reproductive rights means access to comprehensive services to enable every woman to choose the service that meets her needs.

Women’s reproductive health spans the life cycle and includes maternity, obstetrics, gynaecology, contraception and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and treatment, infertility treatment, health information and health promotion services. Women’s reproductive health issues range from menstruation to menopause and beyond and, by their nature, frequently relate to women’s sexuality and to their right to control their own fertility.

The NWCI is in favour of making abortion available for women in Ireland, as voted by Members of the National Women's Council voted at an AGM in 2005.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff - glad to see a lot of these issues on here. Would also like to point out a major point of unequality that seems to be looked over time and time again - today's housewives! We are usually educated to a third degree and have made the often difficult, both emotionally and financially, decision to stay at home with our children. How does the government repay that? By giving us a tax credit of $770 - where our working sisters get a credit of €1760 PLUS a salary and the benefits thereof. Sure childcare is expensiver and that is why SOME of us stay at home, but the government are assuming that is the only reason we stay home - that and the fact that we can "afford" to do so.

Feminism is great and promotes that women can do anything they wish to do and some of us wish to do the best we can for our children by sacrificing our careers, time and financial resources for staying at home with them and we should be recognized for that. Absolutely nothing against working mothers here many of us used to be them, but true feminism should promote equality for all women and freedom to choose even if that choice is being a housewife.

There are half a million housewives in Ireland - a statistic that cannot be overlooked. Can't help but feel that if housing was actually affordable, there would be a lot more! Sure many women aren't cut out for it and want to work - and that's fine - we just want some recognition instead of being dismissed as ignorant or unable to get a job, or old fashioned.

james, belfast said...

As an Irish male from the North it heartening to see that Irish women have strong and well thought out strategies to address serious recognition issues I wish that when voting for government that Irish women the backbone of the country elect candidates from parties which genuinely acknowledge women as equal and essential members of their party